Dr. Fauci Just Said When We'd Return to "Normal"
The concept of "normal" seems so far away, what with one model predicting almost 539,000 U.S. COVID deaths by April. Yet. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), says there is a "light at the end of the tunnel" despite the fact that we are in, no doubt, a "precarious situation" right now. In an interview with American Society of Hematology (ASH) President Dr. Stephanie Lee yesterday, Fauci said "we are living through something…historic [and] it will be months and months before there is wide-spread immunity" but he also predicted when we might be returning to "normal." Read on to hear his prediction, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Dr. Fauci Said Returning to Normal Depends on All Americans Banding Together
A few things have to happen before we return to normal, explained Fauci. "I don't think it will be one year" before returning to normal, he said, but it depends on "how we, as a national and global community respond."
He has previously said the pandemic wouldn't go away unless 1) we all follow the public health fundamentals universally. That includes "the universal wearing of masks; the keeping of distance through avoiding crowds in congregate settings, particularly indoors; wearing your masks at all time; and washing your hands as frequently as you possibly can"; and 2) we need "a global program…to vaccinate everyone on the planet."
"If we can do that, we can get a blanket of immunity over this country that as we get into the summer and early fall, we could be very close to normal, not exactly, but really close to normal," Fauci told ABC News Prime last week. "So that's the reason why we encourage people to look at the data, which is sound data about the safety and the efficacy of the vaccines and go out there and get vaccinated."
We'll Be Asked to Follow Public Health Measures Even After Being Vaccinated—Because You Could Still Carry the Virus
Dr. Fauci continued his thoughts on a return to "normalcy" during a CNN Town Hall with Anderson Cooper and Sanjay Gupta, during which he was asked by one 32-year-old male when the "restrictions" would end, and if the vaccine meant things can open up. "I don't think we're going to soon see a complete abandonment. And now we've got to be careful of what [is meant] by restrictions," said Fauci. "If what he's talking about is wearing a mask, watching your distance, staying away from crowds, to the extent possible, doing things outdoors more than indoors. We're going to be suggesting that no matter what, because remember not everybody's going to be vaccinated at the same time. So let's say you, Anderson, or Sanjay, got vaccinated in January of February. There may be half the country that still has not been vaccinated, which means there's a lot of virus floating around there. And even if you are vaccinated, you may be protected against getting sick, but you may not necessarily be protected against getting infections. So you may have some virus in your nasal pharynx."
"It wouldn't bother you," said Fauci. "And maybe it wouldn't even infect anybody else, but it could be there. That's the reason why you can't abandon all public health measures. You can gradually attenuate them. The more and more people that get vaccinated, the less and less the thread in society is until you get to the point where a few of the overwhelming majority of people vaccinated, and you have a good umbrella of herd immunity, then I think you could get back to as close to normal as you would really want, but that's not going to be immediately."
Until there's herd immunity, follow Dr. Fauci's fundamentals, 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.