Dr. Fauci Expects "Draconian" Lockdowns Here Next
With 450,000 Americans predicted dead from coronavirus by February, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, says you can rewrite the future—and save those lives. He appeared on a CNN Town Hall Friday with Dr. Sanjay Gupta and host Anderson Cooper to discuss the vaccine, and also one of the biggest concerns right now: hospitals, particularly intensive care units, reaching full capacity. As a result of the overflow, COVID patients may not receive the care they need—and neither will those in need after car crashes, bad falls or heart attacks. It's a "precarious situation," he said, and may require targeted "lockdowns." Read on to hear what circumstances might lead to a shutdown, and how you can turn this around—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Dr. Fauci Said Some Places, Like California, Are Implementing Lockdowns
COVID-19 cases are breaking 100,000 a day, sometimes reaching 200,000+. "Can the healthcare systems and the hospitals handle this surge and would you encourage people to do things like postpone elective procedures and things like that at this point," asked Gupta.
"You know, Sanjay, we're almost there," said Fauci. "I hate to say it. We're really in some areas—not all, some areas are fine, they've got a lot of backup they're in good shape—but, you know, I get on the phone to my colleagues just most recently in California, in L.A., where their system is really strained."
In fact, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he is "pulling the emergency brake" and said regions of the state will be locking down in the next few days, with restrictions applying to regions where hospitals are on the brink of capacity. "The bottom line is if we don't act now, our hospital system will be overwhelmed," Newsom said during the press conference. "We are at a tipping point in our fight against the virus and we need to take decisive action now to prevent California's hospital system from being overwhelmed in the coming weeks," Newsom added in a written statement. "I'm clear-eyed that this is hard on all of us — especially our small businesses who are struggling to get by."
The Bay Area, including San Francisco, will enact stay-at-home orders early. ICU capacity is dropping in Southern California and San Joaquin Valley.
"There are some situations where they'll be doing temporary lockdowns because they can't strain the health care system anymore," said Fauci. "The unimaginable thing that no one wants to see happen, that when you have such a strain on the beds and on the personnel, the healthcare personnel, that you're going to deprive people from the kind of care that they need, being in an intensive care bed, or experienced intensive carers to take care of them. We don't want to go there. And if it requires doing more drastic things or Draconian things like maybe some temporary shutdowns in some areas, I think some of the areas of the country are thinking of that. I know as a fact, that in California, in some places in California, they are thinking about that."
Fauci Called These Shutdowns Temporary
Fauci also discussed "lockdowns" with the Boston Globe. He reiterated he was worried about California, "where their system is really strained." "If it requires doing more drastic things, or Draconian things, like maybe some temporary shutdown in some areas, I think some of the areas of the country are thinking of that," Fauci said. "I know as a fact, in California, in some places of California, they are thinking about that."
Other places where ICU beds are filling up: Pennsylvania and South Dakota.
How to Survive This Pandemic—and Save Lives
"The 'unimaginable' outcome that leaders are trying to prevent — one that 'no one wants to see happen,' Fauci said — is arriving at a point where people are going to be deprived 'from the kind of care that they need,'" reports the Globe.
So follow Fauci's fundamentals to save a life—including yours.
- Observe a universal wearing of masks
- Maintain physical distance
- Avoid congregate settings or crowds
- Do more outdoors, as opposed to indoors
- Wash your hands frequently
- Don't give up on those fundamentals, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.