The pandemic has changed so much about our everyday lives, including how we exercise. Some gyms around the country have been tentatively reopening, but several have gone out of business thanks to COVID-19. Big names in the gym club game, like 24 Hour Fitness, Gold’s Gym and New York Sport’s Club’s parent company have declared bankruptcy.  

Meanwhile, for at-home fitness apps offering classes and communities, sales are skyrocketing.

This week Apple joined the fray with its subscription service, which includes yoga and running for about $10 a month. That’s a fraction of what most people pay for gym membership. 

Apple enters a crowded field: Peloton, Nike, Adidas and a bunch of other tech and athletic brands are already there. The online fitness industry is projected to grow by 20% over the next seven years.  

Joe Favorito, a sports marketing consultant and professor at Columbia University, says, “Anyone who’s in the fitness business that doesn’t have some sort of online component right now, and is trying to look back to where we were on March 13, is going to be in a lot of trouble. “

That includes small studios. Yoga instructor Jessica Sandhu’s students followed her onto Zoom. She charges about $120 for private sessions, and she says business is better than ever. “I’ve been very financially OK. I’ve never been able to save money as I have now,” she says.

In order for brick-and-mortar gyms to muscle their way out of this crisis, they may need to go hybrid.  Like Equinox. The high-end gym launched its online fitness app in mid-March. 

For gyms, it’s time to level up, or wipe out.

What’s going on with extra COVID-19 unemployment benefits?

It’s been weeks since President Donald Trump signed an executive memorandum that was supposed to get the federal government back into the business of topping up unemployment benefits, to $400 a week. Few states, however, are currently paying even part of the benefit that the president promised. And, it looks like, in most states, the maximum additional benefit unemployment recipients will be able to get is $300.

What’s the latest on evictions?

For millions of Americans, things are looking grim. Unemployment is high, and pandemic eviction moratoriums have expired in states across the country. And as many people already know, eviction is something that can haunt a person’s life for years. For instance, getting evicted can make it hard to rent again. And that can lead to spiraling poverty.

Which retailers are requiring that people wear masks when shopping? And how are they enforcing those rules?

Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, CVS, Home Depot, Costco — they all have policies that say shoppers are required to wear a mask. When an employee confronts a customer who refuses, the interaction can spin out of control, so many of these retailers are telling their workers to not enforce these mandates. But, just having them will actually get more people to wear masks.

You can find answers to more questions on unemployment benefits and COVID-19 here.

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