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Dr. Fauci Says When We Can Go Back to the Movies

The favorite American pastime won’t be considered “normal” anytime soon.
People in cinema with protection mask keeping distance away to avoid physical contact

Due to the fact that movie theaters involve packing a bunch of people close together in a small, enclosed space, they were one of the first places that health experts targeted as unsafe at the start of the pandemic. They have also become one of the main yardsticks of recovery for the country, because when movie theaters can safely operate and we can enjoy a movie and some popcorn surrounded by others, that will mean the pandemic is far behind us. "When can we safely go back to the movies?" is a question that everyone wants answered, and on Wednesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious disease expert, spoke at the University of Melbourne's virtual Conversations on COVID-19: A Global View with Dr Anthony Fauci and Professor Sharon Lewin, and revealed when we can expect this to happen. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

He Says It Will be Many Months Before It's Back

"I think we'll be gradually back," he revealed. "I think we'll be back in theaters with spaced seating and perhaps masks clearly by maybe the third quarter of 2021." However, as for being in theaters with no masks at maximum capacity, "I think it is going to be well over a year," he admitted. 

Fauci pointed out that "normal"—as in pre-December 2019 life —  is definitely far off, especially in regards to any activity that involves crowds of people. 

"A It really depends on what you mean by normal," he continued. "I mean, if normal means you can get people into theater without worrying about what we call a 'congregate setting.' Superinfections. If you can get restaurants to open at almost full capacity, if you could have sporting events to be able to be played with spectators, either in the stands or in the arena, then I think that's going to be well, well into 2021 and perhaps beyond." 

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We Might be Wearing Masks for Years to Come

He also pointed out that masks and social distancing might be utilized for years to come. 

"I think one of the things that will be clear that our sensitivity to the potential devastating effects of a pandemic will be extraordinarily heightened," he explained. "And I don't think that we will have the normal way of interacting with each other, particularly in the sense of wearing masks, which I think will become very commonplace as it is in many countries in Asia, even outside of the context of a pandemic outbreak. Again, I think it's many months."

As for yourself these next few months, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.