Here's When This Will All Be Over, Says Dr. Fauci
"Coronavirus fatigue"—the idea of getting tired out by all the bad news and public health measures—is real. Even Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has admitted to feeling it. Unfortunately, we're at the height of the pandemic, not the end. More than 320,000 are dead from COVID, with many more deaths to come—and many survivors feel fatigue, too, the medical kind, the kind they may never recover from. In an interview with Medscape, Fauci discussed when we might get back to normal, and was asked specifically about Spring weddings. Read on to hear what he said—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Make Plans for the Third Quarter of 2021, Not the First, Says Fauci
John Whyte, MD, MPH, said, "You know, I always ask my colleagues, 'What should we ask Dr Fauci?' So I want to give them an opportunity. The question was: 'Many people have postponed their weddings from 2020 to March or April of 2021. Do they need to postpone it again?'"
"You know, they should have postponed it until June or July," answered Fauci.
"I don't think they'll be happy to hear that," said Whyte.
"I'm sorry, John. We don't know. I think it's going to work out that way if we do it efficiently. It depends on how efficient we are."
Fauci has said that 75% or more of the country needs to be vaccinated before we even approach herd immunity.
"If we get the priority people vaccinated, the ones that the ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) is recommending, by March or beginning of April, we could then start in April doing what I call "open season" on vaccinations — namely, anybody in the general population who wants to get vaccinated will get vaccinated," he said. If that's the case (when we go through April, May, June, July), by the time we get into the middle or end of the summer, I believe we can have 70%-85% of the population vaccinated if we do it correctly. When that occurs, there will be an umbrella of protection over the entire country. The level of virus will be so low that you have essentially been able to establish herd immunity. So I'm looking forward to it as we finish the second quarter and go into the third quarter of 2021."
We'll be Following Public Health Measures for a Long Time Still
Fauci said something similar earlier this week on FiveThirtyEight's PODCAST-19. He explained that everything relies on whether Americans decide to get vaccinated. "It's going to depend on our success in vaccinating what I would say is an overwhelming majority of the population, between 70 to 85 percent," he revealed. "If we can do that, by mid to end of the summer, I think as we get into fall, October, November, times like that, I think we will be very close to a degree of normality."
Even with people getting vaccinated, you need to observe public health measures. "Until you get a degree of immunity, that the level of infection is so low in the population, that there really is no longer a threat of a person getting infected. Because when you get the virus right now, we're having a massive amount of community spread in the United States," said Fauci. "If you get down to a very, very, very low baseline, then you could start pulling back on things like mask wearing, and congregating. You can start going to restaurants and going to a movie or going to a theater, but until you get that level of virus really low by vaccinating, a substantial proportion of the people, you still have to have some degree of public health measures that you're implementing."
How to Survive This Pandemic
As for yourself, follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, 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.