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Dr. Fauci Warns You Cancel Christmas Travel Now

"Don't travel, don't congregate together," he says.

With coronavirus cases surging, and hospitals overflowing, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, has predicted a " a surge superimposed upon a surge." Does that mean you should now cancel your travel plans for Christmas? "The effect of Thanksgiving is going to be realized two weeks from now, literally, as we're getting into the traveling season for Christmas and Hanukkah," Dr. Fauci told Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC. "So that's a recipe for some serious" disaster. "As the CDC said, and I'd have to agree with them: We're in for a very, very difficult couple of months of December and January."

"Having said that," he continued, "rather than just throw our hands up in despair, there are things that we can do about it. You don't have to shut down the entire country, but there are four or five fundamental public health things that we all can do." Read on to discover what you can do, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

Dr. Fauci Advises You Seriously Assess Your Christmas Travel

When asked if we should not be celebrating Christmas with our extended families this year, De. Fauci answered: "Yeah, I think they're going to have to make individual decisions. But I think we need to have as a nation seriously consider the things that we in the public health arena have been talking about of minimizing travel to the extent possible. Sometimes it's absolutely necessary, but to the extent possible don't travel, don't congregate together. I know how difficult that is."

He said he understands what a big ask that is—if ever there's a time to get together, for many families, it's this holiday. "We all have a strong degree of empathy, knowing, and myself included about wanting to be with your family, wanting to have a large Christmas dinner with family and friends over right now"—however, "that just should not be done to the best of our capabilities. We should avoid travel and avoid congregate settings."

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Follow Dr. Fauci's Fundamentals to Stay Alive and Save a Life

What are the fundamentals you can employ to remain safe? "Universal wearing of masks, avoiding close context and avoid congregate settings or crowds, particularly indoors, particularly when people are not wearing masks, that is a recipe or a real problem," says Fauci. "If we could just do that, we don't have to lock down the economy over Christmas and over at Hanukkah, but we can do some fundamental public health measures that will make a difference because when you compare countries or States or cities, one that does it, one that doesn't, there was a big difference. You can blend some of that in addition, as I've said many times, and it's quite true, that help is on the way we're going to be giving vaccines towards the middle and end of December, and then more in January and more in February. So if we can just hang on and do those fundamental public health measures to try and blunt some of these surges, ultimately we can get out of this."

He hopes that "as difficult as it is, both from a personal and an economic standpoint too, to not shut down, but to dampen the kind of interactions that you would have over the holiday, it will make a difference. It definitely will make a difference." So follow those fundamentals, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more