Chris and Lesya Lambert, owners of four Atilis Gyms, are happy to welcome back members. By MADDY VITALECarlos Valencia, of Egg Harbor Township, worked out at Atilis Gym in his hometown Tuesday, the first day that gyms across the state were allowed to reopen since the COVID-19 pandemic forced shutdowns six months ago.“It’s such a release. Everybody is so amped up. They are so stressed out over COVID. Going to the gym is a release,” Valencia noted.Stacy Golinski, of Somers Point, likened the reopening of fitness centers by Gov. Phil Murphy to a holiday. “It’s Christmas day,” she said after a workout. “I’m just happy to be back to the normal routine. It’s so important, not just physically, but mentally.”Chris Lambert, owner of Atilis gyms in Egg Harbor Township, Ocean City, Sea Isle City and Wildwood, along with his wife, Lesya, who is a major part of the operation, were busy checking in members Tuesday.Jon Karp, of Mays Landing, works out on a piece of weight equipment.Gyms have been among the last to reopen of New Jersey businesses since the pandemic began in March.“I am thrilled. It is just great to be open again,” Chris Lambert noted in between welcoming members back.Lesya Lambert, a personal trainer, said she feels elated that the gyms reopened, for the health of everyone.“It isn’t just about body building. It is about working out to feel good – to be healthy,” she said. “The excitement of the people coming in says it all.” As part of the governor’s coronavirus guidelines, gyms will be limited to 25 percent of their normal capacity.Over the past six months, the Lamberts and their team have prepared their gyms and adhered strictly to all of the CDC guidelines for the health and safety of patrons and employees.Carlos Valencia, of Egg Harbor Township, says exercising in gyms is a stress reliever amid COVID-19.The Egg Harbor Township gym has 30-foot ceilings for plenty of air circulation. Its normal capacity is 388 people, but with the 25 percent capacity for coronavirus restrictions, a maximum of 97 gym members will be allowed in at any given time, Lambert explained.Under the new capacity restrictions, 40 members will be allowed to work out at the Ocean City gym at a time. Sea Isle City’s gym is smaller, but Lambert said the majority of the customers are summer residents and the season is winding down. Jon Karp, of Mays Landing, wore his required face covering Tuesday morning while using exercise machines to strengthen his back and ab muscles.Karp, who is a restaurant general manager, said he enjoys an exercise regime four times a week to alleviate stress and stay in shape.In addition to the Egg Harbor Township Atilis Gym, Karp goes to the Ocean City and Wildwood locations to use the different equipment.“I like to drive to the Ocean City gym for some of their machines and I’ll drive down to Wildwood on my days off,” he explained. “The different gyms give me energy.”For gym locations and more information on Atilis Gym visit: www.atilisgym.com.Atilis Gym owner Chris Lambert with member Stacy Golinski, of Somers Point.
The figures added urgency to the desperate bid to find a vaccine for the virus, which has infected more than 22 million and killed hundreds of thousands since it first emerged in China late last year.Russia announced on Thursday it was pushing forward with testing on more than 40,000 people of its candidate drug, known as Sputnik V, which as already been hailed by Russian officials as a success even as experts questioned the rigor of the testing regime. Qantas losses Africa provided a brighter perspective on Thursday, registering a significant drop in the number of infections last week.”We have begun to bend the curve slowly… it’s important to recognize those slight tendencies that are positive,” said Dr John Nkengasong, head of the African Union’s health body, Africa CDC.The continent has suffered less harm than most other regions from the pandemic, which has hit the Americas harder than anywhere else.The United States continues to bear the brunt in health terms and is suffering grim economic fallout.The number of Americans filing claims for joblessness each week topped one million again, US officials said on Thursday, an increase on the previous week’s figures.Globally, the airline industry continues to take a buffeting — Australian flag carrier Qantas posted an annual loss of almost $2 billion after a “near total collapse” in demand.Online shopping is one of the few sectors still thriving in the pandemic, and second-quarter results from Alibaba once again bore this out as the Chinese e-commerce giant recorded growth of 34 percent.The crushing economic damage has sprung not just from the virus itself but also from the lockdowns that largely halted business activity across the world.With many nations creeping back towards restrictive measures, the WHO said European health authorities are now better prepared and should not need to resort to the complete closures endured particularly by the Spanish and Italians.”We can manage the virus and keep the economy running and an education system in operation,” said Hans Kluge, head of the WHO’s European branch. Spikes in coronavirus infections in European countries caused alarm on Thursday but the World Health Organization (WHO) said the continent should be able to fight the pandemic without reimposing full lockdowns.While Italy registered 845 new cases on Thursday, its highest daily tally since May, France reported 4,700 fresh infections — a massive increase on the previous day. While Spain’s daily increases topped even those of France, Germany was examining its own resurgence.Worrying trends also emerged in India as a new study suggested more than a quarter of Delhi’s 20 million people may have been infected without showing symptoms — backing up several similar studies. Topics : Anti-social bubbleChina reacted swiftly when the virus emerged last year and has kept deaths and infections relatively low compared with most other regions.However, many web users were incensed by viral images of a pool party attended by thousands in Wuhan — the city where the virus was first reported.Chinese officials, though, said the party was more proof of their successful handling of the crisis.”This shows that Wuhan has won a strategic victory in its fight against the epidemic,” said foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.Political leaders in the Americas and Europe looked on with envy as China’s infection figures flat lined, many now pinning their hopes on the speedy development of a vaccine.Several drugs are approaching the mass-testing phase, and countries around the world have been pre-ordering many millions of doses.The EU said on Thursday it had concluded talks with a German pharmaceutical firm to secure 225 million doses of a potential vaccine — the fourth such agreement the bloc has reached.French President Emmanuel Macron hailed European cooperating on the issue and said he was hopeful that a vaccine would come online with the next few months.”This will not solve the problems of the next few weeks, but of the next few months,” he said.However, while a vaccine remains elusive, governments are left trying to control the spread through social-distancing measures, quarantines, travel bans and restrictions on businesses.Following social-distancing rules can be a challenge, even for passengers aboard the Mediterranean’s first cruise since the pandemic hit Europe.The cruise firm had to kick a family off the ship after they left a tour group to go sightseeing on their own.”By departing from the organized shore excursion, this family broke from the safe ‘social bubble’,” MSC Cruises said in a statement, adding that the family would not be allowed back on board.
A Broward County man faces questions about his mental status, after using a weapon to scare a neighborhood.According to the police report, 25-year-old Merville Vaughn Jr. has been Baker Acted for allegedly waving a gun at people driving by and then starting a standoff with law enforcement.The SWAT Team arrived just before noon Wednesday at a home located on NW 7th Street in Fort Lauderdale, where Vaughn was armed and hiding inside.They announced to him via loud speaker, “We’re not going away. We’ll be here as long as you want to be here.”Neighbors joined officials in trying to convince him to surrender, which he eventually did.Police told Miami television station WFOR that Vaughn was also wearing a bulletproof vest.Vaughn was taken into custody before being admitted to a local hospital for a psychological evaluation under the Baker Act. Criminal charges against him are pending, and no one was injured during the tense standoff.