New Zealand offers Biden tips on COVID-19 after successful response

New Zealand’s prime minister said she has offered to help President-elect Joe Biden manage his response to the coronavirus pandemic once he is inaugurated.

a woman wearing glasses: New Zealand offers Biden tips on COVID-19 after successful response

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New Zealand offers Biden tips on COVID-19 after successful response

“I offered to him and his team access to New Zealand health officials in order to share their experience on things we’ve learnt on our COVID-19 journey,” Jacinda Ardern said on Monday, according to Reuters.

New Zealand has garnered international praise for its response to the pandemic, with fewer than 100 current cases reported in the country as of this week. Ardern implemented strict nationwide lockdown measures twice this year, a decision public health experts credit with being instrumental to slowing the spread of the virus.

President Trump, however, has been critical of lockdown measures, warning they have a negative impact on other aspects of public life such as the economy and mental health.

Video: Azar touts Trump administration’s efforts on COVID-19 vaccine (FOX News)

Azar touts Trump administration’s efforts on COVID-19 vaccine



Biden has resisted calls from public health officials in the U.S. to implement a national lockdown, instead insisting he would “listen to the scientists” in attempting to get the virus under control.

Members of the Biden transition team have warned that a refusal by Trump to concede the election and begin coordination on coronavirus response could have deadly consequences.

“If we have to wait until Jan. 20 to start that planning, it puts us behind,” Biden said earlier this month. “More people may die if we don’t coordinate.”

New Zealand, a country of 4.8 million people, has reported fewer than 2,100 cases of coronavirus this year with only 25 deaths. The United States, with a population of more than 300 million, has reported over 12.3 million cases and more than 200,000 Americans have died.

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What a Successful Vaccine Trial Looks Like

Conversely, it shouldn’t come as a shock if some of these vaccine candidates do turn out to be ineffective. The development process from Phase 1 to 2 to 3 has gone very smoothly so far. But, in general, more than 90 percent of drugs and treatments fail, and close to 50 percent of them fail in Phase 3. Lowe says he expects COVID-19 vaccine candidates to do much better because scientists are building on research into MERS and SARS, two related coronaviruses. But the whole point of conducting clinical trials is to find out if a vaccine works, so we shouldn’t expect them all to succeed. With 46 vaccine candidates already in clinical trials around the world, scientists are optimistic that at least some will be effective.

The other big question, of course, is one of safety. The smaller Phase 1 and Phase 2 vaccine trials have so far found adverse events including fatigue, chills, headache, and pain at the injection site. But the big Phase 3 trials are meant to find rarer adverse events that might turn up in only, say, one in 10,000 people. That’s one advantage of these unusually large Phase 3 studies. Then again, volunteers might get sick for unrelated reasons, too, and any connection to the vaccine can be tricky to determine. With all the Phase 3 trials going on, “you’re talking about hundreds of thousands of people, some of whom are elderly, over a prolonged period of time,” Barouch says. “So there will be heart attacks. There will be strokes. There will be cancers. There will be neurological events.”

A serious adverse event—like a neurological disorder—triggers a study pause and a review by an independent data-and-safety-monitoring board. This board is made up of scientists who do not work for the vaccine company and are not investigators for the trial itself. First, they would “unblind,” to figure out whether the person got a vaccine or a placebo. And if the participant got the vaccine, the board might seek additional medical records and data to look for any possible link between the vaccine and the adverse event. The AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccine trials are currently halted in the U.S. due to adverse events, though AstraZeneca’s has since resumed in other parts of the world. These pauses are relatively common with vaccines, which have a very high safety bar because they, unlike drugs, are given to healthy people. Normally, a pause doesn’t become public if the trial is resumed, but COVID-19 vaccines are under special scrutiny. “Hearing there is a pause means the system is working,” Karron says, because it means safety concerns are being investigated.

Recruiting large numbers of volunteers speeds up the trials significantly, but investigators will still have to wait to understand a vaccine’s long-term safety. While normal vaccine trials might run for years before going to the FDA, the agency says it will require at least two months’ worth of follow-up data before authorizing a COVID-19

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How to Live a Successful Fitness Lifestyle

Dear Deborah

Question From Ann, NewYork City: Every time I begin a fitness program, life gets in the way, I start stalling and before I know it I've fallen off the wagon and gained 5lbs. I can't really afford a personal trainer but I can see how they can help you stay on track. I've tried DVD's and classes with no success. Is there anything out there that can help me?

Answer: Thank you Ann for your honesty, I know many women have similar frustrations while pursuing their fitness lifestyle. There's a lot of new research out there in the Fitness world and from that dearth of research is a new hybrid of personal trainers. They're called Fitness Lifestyle Coaches, they can provide both exercise and behavioral guidance and they are a cheaper alternative to a Personal Fitness Trainer. I will address your question in the mindset of a Fitness Lifestyle Coach so you will catch a glimpse of how the lifestyle fitness coaching process can work.

So, lets get down to basics and define fitness, which includes three elements. First you need a cardio challenge where the heart and breathing rate are significantly raised. The second ingredient is strength training where the muscles are challenged with resistance work. Thirdly is Flexibility, muscles need to stretch to maintain mobility. Remember, you get stiff then you get old. Trying to take on all 3 elements in the beginning may feel daunting, so don't.

Pick one element you enjoy; All three are equally important so choosing one can be the key to starting a lifestyle in which you can consistently participate. Once one element becomes a habit, because you enjoy it, which usually takes 28 days, you can add another. Add each element gradually and in small doses so as not to overwhelm your self. Of course, if you enjoy two or even all three fitness elements, dedicate a small amount of time to each so you experience success with the designated time for each element. Be realistic in your time allotment, if you can't live up to it you'll feel like a failure, so choose smaller time frames and experience success. Think 'do a little less and emphasize success' and it builds self-confidence.

You need to find what motivates or turns you on, so to get motivated you need a Fitness Vision. This vision entails using your imagination to project into your future. Ask yourself what it would look like to see yourself living your fitness lifestyle successfully after a year or two? Visualize how you'll look, act, eat, sleep etc. until you can feel it, see it, smell it, breathe it. By making it as real as possible to yourself you'll start to feel the excitement bubble up in you. Now that's getting your mojo working for you.

Now set goals for you to make that vision happen. Where am I now? How can I get closer to that vision in 3months / 6months? On a weekly basis, what do …

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