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Dr. Fauci Just Said When You Can Throw Your Mask Away

Masks will be part of our uniform for the foreseeable future, says Fauci. 
woman takes off the face mask

Back in 2019, it was rare to come across a person outside of the healthcare community sporting a face mask. However, since early 2020, when COVID-19 pandemic first began in high gear, protective face coverings have become almost as common as shirts and shoes. Why? Masks—even those made out of cloth—are one of the most efficient and effective tools we have in slowing the spread of the virus. Not only do they help protect us from becoming infected with the virus, but in the case that we are already infected, they prevent us from passing it on to others. However, nearly a year in, most of the world would love to be able to retire face masks forever. Just when is that going to be a reality? According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert and Director of the National Institutes of Health, we are going to have to wait awhile. Read on to hear when you can throw your mask out, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

Dr. Fauci Said You'll Be Wearing Masks for Another Year

During a Thursday interview with the New York Times, Fauci revealed that we still have another year-plus of masking up. 

"I think that we're going to have some degree of public health measures together with the vaccine for a considerable period of time," he confessed. He pointed out that when that is going to happen will primarily depend on vaccination."But we'll start approaching normal — if the overwhelming majority of people take the vaccine — as we get into the third or fourth quarter [of 2021]."

As for whether he thinks a federally regulated mask mandate should be in the cards, he certainly isn't opposed to the idea. "I think that there should be universal wearing of masks," he stated. "If we can accomplish that with local mayors, governors, local authorities, fine. If not, we should seriously consider national." 

He pointed out that the only reason he shies away from the idea is that it could have a negative impact. "Things that come from the national level down generally engender a bit of pushback from an already reluctant populace that doesn't like to be told what to do," he explained. "So you might wind up having the countereffect of people pushing back even more."

RELATED: Dr. Fauci Says Most People Did This Before Catching COVID

How to Survive the Pandemic—and Stop Infections From Spreading

No matter where you live, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear your 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, stay outdoors more than indoors, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.