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Dr. Fauci Just Said When We’d Return to Normal

It’s complicated, is the long answer. “By Christmas” is a possibility. 
FACT CHECKED BY Checkmark Emilia Paluszek
Doctor Anthony Fauci wearing face mask.

After several months of surging infections, hospitalizations, and deaths as a result of COVID-19, things are finally starting to trend in a more positive direction. As more and more people receive the vaccine, there is hope that things will finally start to return to normal in the near future. So, when will movie theaters reopen, indoor dining be considered safe, and family gatherings a regular part of life? On Thursday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke with Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC, and revealed the answer is a little complicated. Read on to find out what he had to say—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

Dr. Fauci Says We Can Get to Normal By Christmas

Unfortunately, Dr. Fauci, nor any other official, has a concrete answer. “When you ask anybody, me or the President or the Director of CDC, this is not a mathematical formula where you can say, ‘I get it five plus 10 or 50.’ It's a question of pure estimates,” he points out. “There are so many things in play that could influence.”

The answer “also depends on what you mean by normal,” he points out. “What does some form of normality mean? Well, obviously we have very stringent public health measures in tune now. If you're going to ask is ‘What about getting back to a situation where you can have theaters that might be able to have below capacity that restaurants indoor dining can be happening, but with moderately diminished capacity?’ that's going to be somewhere between the fall and the end of the year,” he revealed. “If you'll say ‘No, no, no, wait a minute. I really want to know when it's going to get to as close to normal that you almost don't know the difference between what it was before. Maybe you're going to still have to wear masks,’ That likely will be, as the President said, by the end of the year by Christmas.”

However, “these are all estimates and so many things can happen to modify that,” he points out. “That's the reason why when you ask people like myself and others, we say ‘likely,’ because if it were a mathematical formula, I could give you a real number. but there are so many things that can happen.”

His main concern? “The variants can come in and we may be able to see a situation where you have an increase of a little blip, which would interfere with that timeline. So I still hold that somewhere between the fall and the winter we're going to wind up seeing it,” he concluded.

RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci

How to Stay Safe During This Pandemic

So follow Fauci’s fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don’t travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.