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These 5 Things Can Save You From COVID, Says Dr. Fauci

...including “the most important thing you can do.”
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek
Fauci cnn

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is trying to save your life. As coronavirus-related deaths top 3,000 daily—more than 9/11 each day—he arms you with the tips and tools you need to not catch the virus—or spread it. During a talk with California State University Chancellor Timothy White, Fauci discussed how to "try and get the level of infection in the community down" and included "the most important thing you can do." Read on to hear his essential advice, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus


"Uniform Wearing of Masks" is "The Most Important Thing You Can Do"

Female Wearing Face Mask and Social Distancing

Face masks have been proven to protect other people from your germs—and to protect you from other people. Or, as the CDC has said, "the benefit of masking is derived from the combination of source control and personal protection for the mask wearer." "So probably wearing a mask is the most important thing to do," Fauci told White. When he says "uniform," he means we all have to do this for it to be effective—especially when you're indoors with people you don't shelter with, even extended family.


"Keeping Physical Distance"

Fauci told White that keeping your distance from others—at least six feet, he has said in the past—can help blunt the pandemic's spread. This is simple science. "CDC continues to believe, based on current science, that people are more likely to become infected the longer and closer they are to a person with COVID-19," says the agency.

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"Avoiding Congregate Settings Where You Have Crowds"

Selected focus view, man with face mask queue and wait for enter a shop on sidewalk

Again, this is common sense—the more people you have in one space, the more virus they could spew on you, or you could spew on them. (COVID has been proven to be airborne.) It's also best to avoid places where crowds were, too. The CDC admitted "the existence of some published reports showing limited, uncommon circumstances where people with COVID-19 infected others who were more than 6 feet away or shortly after the COVID-19-positive person left an area….In these instances, transmission occurred in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces that often involved activities that caused heavier breathing, like singing or exercise. Such environments and activities may contribute to the buildup of virus-carrying particles," they added. 


"Where You're Going to Be In Indoors…" 

Family talking over dinner.

"…and people in fact are going to be close to each other," Dr. Fauci says—this can be a danger zone. "You don't want to be the Grinch that stole the holidays," Fauci said in a livestreamed interview with Dr. Howard Bauchner, editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association. But: "You get one person who's asymptomatic and infected, and then all of a sudden, four or five people in that gathering are infected," he said. Avoid holiday gatherings.


"Wash Your Hands"

Woman Washing her hands with soap and water at home bathroom

"That sounds really simple. It's not rocket science, but it can really be effective," Dr. Fauci has said. "It's in our hands. … You have the dynamics of the virus which, if left to its own devices, will keep resurging. The only way to stop it is what we do as a countermeasure. It can be done."

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How to Survive This Pandemic

Doctor in personal protective suit or PPE inject vaccine shot to stimulating immunity of woman patient at risk of coronavirus infection.

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.