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Virus Expert Just Warned of Coming COVID Disaster

Lifting restrictions prematurely could be devastating.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Over the last few weeks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been warning about the precarious situation the country is currently in: while the number of infections has leveled off and even dipped down, likely due to the COVID-19 vaccines being administered, the new, more transmissible variants are quickly becoming dominant. This could mean that despite the vaccination rate increasing, more and more Americans could contract the virus, suffer serious infections, and even die. However, some states and cities are opted to lift or reduce restrictions, including mask mandates, capacity rates, and complete closures. And many health experts, including Darren Mareiniss, MD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Sidney Kimmel Medical College – Thomas Jefferson University and expert in pandemic preparedness, warns this could have huge consequences. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

"Expect a Spike," Warns Pandemic Expert

This week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott revealed he was lifting the statewide mask mandate and allowing all Texas businesses to reopen at full capacity, which will start going into effect March 10. '"This must end. It is now time to open Texas 100 percent," he announced at an event in Lubbock. "Everybody that wants to work should have that opportunity. Every business that wants to open, should be open."

However, according to Dr. Mareiniss, this is a big mistake. "These restrictions are being lifted prematurely in many places," he explains to Eat This, Not That! Health. "Just two days ago, the CDC warned that case numbers were still high and Dr. Walensky said 'now is not the time' to lift restrictions."  

He worries that history will end up repeating itself. "This is frustrating because it is similar to what happened last spring," he said, referencing what happened when lockdowns were lifted across the country too soon. "Several states opened prematurely then and cases spiked.  We can expect the same type of spike as a result of prematurely lifting restrictions."

He also points out that what we have been doing in terms of recommended prevention measures—mask wearing, social distancing, avoiding large group settings, etc.—is working.  

"What is frustrating is that we have come so far with respect to controlling the virus with our non pharmaceutical interventions just to throw all the progress away," he said. 

And, if we continued to walk the path, the end could be in sight. "If these governors would just stay the course a little longer, we would have better control and a potentially near normal spring and summer. It's as if they don't want to control the virus and return to normality. It's both puzzling and frustrating," he concluded. 

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

How to Avoid a COVID Disaster

So follow Dr. Anthony Fauci's fundamentals and help end this pandemic, 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.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more about Leah
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