What does the future hold for virtual fitness? A hybrid model, possibly

Stock prices for companies like Peloton and Zoom have soared in recent months.

On Monday, Zoom and Peloton took a hit after news of the effectiveness of a vaccine from the drug maker Pfizer, with investors hoping more people would start doing things outside their homes sooner than originally anticipated. Throughout the week, Zoom and Peloton’s prices crept up steadily after the complexities and challenges of getting a vaccine to the general public were revealed.

This week, as part of ABC’s “Perspective” podcast, ABC’s Daria Albinger spoke with Dave Packles, the irector of Product at Peloton, and Austin Cohen, the CEO of the app FlexIt, on what working out from home will look like once people resume normal activities.

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“People have been treating fitness as a meeting,” Cohen said. “They have a thirty minute meeting. They go workout virtually for thirty minutes. They go back to their desk. Right? And then one hour past that first meeting that they had, and they’re back to work… It’s easy. It’s beautiful. You don’t waste time commuting to the gym.”

Packles said people have adjusted after months of training in their houses.

“In reality, people are being introduced to this [home workouts] for the first time. The norm was: ‘To get a workout in, I must go to a gym. I must go to a boutique class.’ Working out from home wasn’t as widespread. I think the pandemic is forcing people to kind of re-examine that. So you kind of have more people who are now trying it.”

Packles also said Peloton tries to tailor its workouts to different types of exercises, not just indoor bike riding, because people generally prefer to diversify their training and work out more than just by themselves.

“Working out in the physical presence of another person is always going to be the best,” Packles told ABC’s “Perspective” podcast. “Going for an outdoor ride with a friend, potentially going to a boutique class or going to the Peloton studio and feeling the energy of the people around you in the room? That’s always going to be such an amazing experience.”

“I think Peloton aims to try to capture the best things of that and bring that to them,” Packles added.

Cohen said the trend has even driven demand for a new job, the virtual trainer. However, he does not believe it will make gyms a thing of the past.

“Even if you’re not standing next to someone physically, they can still effectively be in your presence, motivate you, and hold you accountable. It’s a trend that we’re going to continue to see and

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The FDA and CDC Promised Transparency in the Vaccine Approval Process. Here’s How Congress Can Hold Them to It

A view of the U.S. Capitol Building as demonstrators march to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) headquarters during a protest organized by groups calling for safe vaccines on Oct. 21
A view of the U.S. Capitol Building as demonstrators march to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) headquarters during a protest organized by groups calling for safe vaccines on Oct. 21

A view of the U.S. Capitol Building as demonstrators march to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) headquarters during a protest organized by groups calling for safe vaccines on Oct. 21 Credit – Graeme Sloan—Sipa USA

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on the health and economic well-being of families and communities across the country, and this virus will remain a significant threat until a safe and effective vaccine can be made available to all.

While we all hope to get potential vaccines reviewed, produced and distributed as quickly as possible, we can’t sacrifice safety and efficacy for speed. It is also critically important that the public has confidence in the federal government’s vaccine review process, which includes assurances that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has followed the necessary protocols to ensure vaccine safety and effectiveness. Together, we’ve introduced the Safe Authorization for Vaccines during Emergencies (SAVE) Act to ensure that the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) follow well-established measures so that COVID-19 vaccines meet rigorous standards that the public can rely on.

The FDA and CDC have existing vaccine review processes that are considered the gold standard by public-health experts around the world. During the normal vaccine approval process, the CDC and FDA each have advisory committees that meet and issue findings and recommendations on the safety and effectiveness of vaccines before they enter the market, including whether specific vaccines are safe for certain populations such as children or seniors.

For the COVID-19 vaccine, however, an expedited review process called an emergency use authorization is being used. There’s never been an emergency use authorization for a new vaccine before, and it is important to ensure that any expedited review process does not come at the expense of safety and efficacy.

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By taking key oversight measures, we can ensure the safety and effectiveness of a potential vaccine and promote transparency, even during an expedited process. By extension, we can also help bolster public confidence in the vaccine review process, as well as any vaccine product that enters the market. However, we have a lot of work ahead of us. Public trust in the vaccine approval process is critical to achieving widespread use, and right now, the public is skeptical.

A CBS poll released in September found that two-thirds of Americans would think the process had been rushed if a vaccine enters the market this year, and only one in five plan to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Another poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that 62% of Americans worry that political pressure will lead to premature approval of a vaccine. If a majority of Americans are unwilling to take

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New Wave of COVID Infections Taking Hold in America | Health News

By Robin Foster and E.J. Mundell
HealthDay Reporters


WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A third surge of coronavirus cases now has a firm grip on the United States, with an average of 59,000 new infections being reported across the country every day.

That tally is the highest since the beginning of August, and the likelihood is high that the country will soon see the most new COVID-19 infections a day since the pandemic began, The New York Times reported.

This latest surge differs from the previous two: Instead of acute outbreaks in specific regions, such as the Northeast this spring and the South this summer, the virus is now simmering at a worrisome level across nearly the entire country, the Times reported. Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming each set seven-day case records on Tuesday. Even New Jersey, which managed to bring the virus under control last spring, has seen a doubling in cases in the past month, the Times reported.

“It is a really dangerous time,” Dr. Tom Inglesby, an infectious disease expert at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, told the newspaper. “The majority of states are on the rise. There are very few places where things are stable and going down.”

Even more troubling is the fact that this latest surge is coming as cooler weather is forcing people indoors and many Americans report they are fatigued by months of social distancing and travel restrictions, the Times reported.

“We’re seeing spread virtually everywhere,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said during a news conference Tuesday. In his state, 69 of 88 counties are now considered “high incidence,” meaning at least 100 virus cases per 100,000 people in the past two weeks, the Times reported.

But instead of imposing new measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, Dewine said that, “The fastest way we can do it is not for me to issue some order that you can’t enforce or would be difficult to enforce, but rather for every Ohioan to take this seriously,” he said, grabbing his cloth mask and holding it up, the Times reported.

In North Dakota, which is leading the nation in new coronavirus cases per capita, hospitalizations and deaths are at a high, and just 20 intensive care beds were available statewide.

Luckily, the climbing case count has not yet translated to increased deaths: About 700 people are dying from COVID-19, on average, each day. So far, more than 220,000 Americans have died from the virus.

CDC Recommends Face Masks for Public Transportation

Seeking to slow the spread of coronavirus, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended on Monday that face masks be worn by everyone in all public transportation settings.

That includes both passengers and people working in stations, terminals and airports across the country, CBS News reported.

So far, the Trump administration has not issued any national mandate on face coverings, instead leaving that

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Hold teachers, schools harmless on tests

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is joining the push to hold teachers and schools harmless for how their students perform on standardized tests this school year due to disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a news release Friday, the Republican said he will work with lawmakers to offer a solution.

“Given the unprecedented disruption that the COVID-19 pandemic and extended time away from the classroom has had on Tennessee’s students, my Administration will work with the General Assembly to bring forward a solution for this school year that alleviates any burdens associated with educator evaluations and school accountability metrics,” Lee said.

Student will still take the tests to get an accurate picture of learning levels and assess what needs to happen to make up for losses during the pandemic time off from traditional classroom learning, the release said.

Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn said the solution will ensure teachers feel supported in focusing on educating students.

“Administering assessments to gauge student learning and ensuring strong accountability best enables us to meet the needs of all students, however we know the significant challenges our teachers and school and district leaders are facing and it remains critical to reward their good work,” Schwinn said.

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GOP’s Meuser looks to hold PA-9 Congressional seat against dentist Wegman

Dan Meuser was elected to Congress in 2018 to represent the area which includes Lebanon County.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Freshman Congressman Dan Meuser fought off a COVID-19 diagnosis in August. Now, he’s looking to fight off an election challenge from Democrat Gary Wegman.

Meuser was elected to Congress in the newly drawn 9th Congressional District in 2018 with 59% of the vote. He is one of President Donald Trump’s most staunch supporters, voting with the president’s views 97.5% of the time, according to the website fivethirtyeight.com.

One of Meuser’s top policy points he says is maintaining law and order. He said he doesn’t personally believe systemic racism exists within police departments.

This is Wegman’s second political campaign. He ran for the same seat in 2018 and lost the Democratic primary to Denny Wolff.

Wegman’s platform is based largely on improving health care. He is a dentist and runs a family produce farm.

The 9th District includes all of Lebanon County, Carbon County, Columbia County, Montour County, and Schyulkill Counties, plus parts of Luzerne, Berks, and Northumberland Counties.

For more election coverage, where to vote, information about the candidates, and other stories about voting safety and security, visit the FOX43 Election Voting Guide.

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