Dr. Fauci Says These 5 Things Can Save You From COVID
The coronavirus vaccine is here—and yet coronavirus cases are raging. And they will continue to do so. "It's bittersweet," says Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, of the scientific breakthrough. Until enough people are vaccinated, and we have herd immunity, will we be able to get infections under control? "Yes, absolutely," Fauci said in a recent interview with Scientific American. "I've been saying this every day. If we, uniformly throughout the country, implement public health guidelines….I believe we will see an effect. We know from experience that the states or cities or countries that have done this have always been able to blunt and mitigate the slope of a surging curve such as this one." Read on to hear the five things he said you can do to stay safe, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Face masks are essential. Fauci has gone so far in the past to plump for a mask mandate, and President-Elect Joe Biden has said he'd ask all Americans to wear a mask during his first 100 days. "Well, if people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it," Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN. "There's going to be a difficulty enforcing it, but if everyone agrees that this is something that's important and they mandate it and everybody pulls together and says, you know, we're going to mandate it but let's just do it. I think that would be a great idea to have everybody do it uniformly," he said.
"Keeping Physically Distanced"
The reason to stay at least six feet away from others is that they—or you—may be infected and not even know it. Fauci wishes there were better testing for this purpose. "We've got to go beyond the symptomatic people and get a better understanding of the asymptomatic transmission," he said. Until then, stay apart.
"Avoiding Crowded Situations"
Period. "We would recommend that there not be large crowds," Fauci said earlier this year, and the advice still holds. "If that means not having any people in the audience where the NBA plays, so be it. But as a public health official, anything that has large crowds is something that would give a risk to spread."
"Doing Things Outdoors More Than Indoors"
Outside, where there is more ventilation, is always better than inside, when you're with other people. "Smaller, more intimate gatherings of family, friends, and neighbors may be driving transmission as well, especially as they move indoors," Fauci has said.
"Washing Hands Frequently"
Needless to say, viruses and bacteria can be transferred by touch, even though COVID-19 is a "respiratory" disease. Says the CDC: "To prevent the spread of germs during the COVID-19 pandemic, you should also wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to clean hands BEFORE and AFTER:
- Touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
- Touching your mask
- Entering and leaving a public place
- Touching an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people, such as door handles, tables, gas pumps, shopping carts, or electronic cashier registers/screens."
Dr. Fauci's Priorities for Next Year
A "profound degree" of herd immunity won't happen until the end of 2021. Next year, Fauci intends on pushing these fundamentals—and the vaccine. "They extend from what I've been talking about all along: to get the outbreak under control by uniform adherence to fundamental public health measures and to push ahead with the development and implementation of the vaccine program," he told Scientific American. "I believe that the vaccines that will soon become available, together with public health measures, will be the mechanism that puts this outbreak to an end."
As for yourself, follow his fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene and to protect your life and the lives of others, and don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.