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The One Thing You Should Not Do Now, Says Dr. Fauci

Don’t visit family. “That’s really somewhat risky. You can do a modified version of that,” he says.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

As coronavirus deaths rise—we're losing more than 3,000 Americans a day—Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, is sounding the alarm. "The numbers are staggering — the most impactful respiratory pandemic that we have experienced in over 102 years, since the iconic 1918 Spanish flu," said the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recently. Despite the fact that one vaccine is being administered, with a second newly approved, things will get worse before they get better. Read on to hear the one thing you shouldn't do now, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

Dr. Fauci Says There's Big, Big Risk Visiting Family Right Now

Fauci has urged everyone to do as he does, and stay home this Christmas—his daughters are not traveling to visit him. 

"I'm going to be with my wife — period," Fauci has said. "The Christmas holiday is a special holiday for us because Christmas Eve is my birthday. And Christmas Day is Christmas Day. And they are not going to come home … That's painful. We don't like that. But that's just one of the things you're going to have to accept as we go through this unprecedented challenging time."

Later in the week, he clarified his statements. "I'm not saying that everyone should cancel the family gathering, I'm saying that people will need to make individual choices," Fauci told Fox News host Bill Hemmer. "You don't have to cancel things — you can still spend time with your family. I'm just asking people to be careful when it comes to travel that may not be necessary, travel that you can avoid, and when you get together, try to make some limitation to it."

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Do Your Risk Assessment Before Making Any Moves

Fauci said Americans should do a risk assessment. Is there a chance you have COVID? Are you going to run into anyone who might catch COVID? If so, strongly reconsider. "You have some Christmas dinners [where] people bring friends and others who travel from different parts of the country. You could have 15 or 20 people at a dinner," said Fauci. "That's really somewhat risky. You can do a modified version of that."

Otherwise, you risk setting off another chain reaction. We got to where we are partly because people are remaining indoors.

"First of all, we entered into the cooler weather of the fall and the upcoming colder weather of the impending winter that gets people driven indoors, which is much more amenable to the spread of a respiratory disease," Fauci has said of the surge. "Then you had various events, things like holiday season, the traveling for Thanksgiving, which we still probably adjust, going to start seeing the brunt of what it means when you have people traveling and congregating in seemingly innocent settings, like family and dinners with friends and family and colleagues. Those are the kinds of things when the weather gets cold and you're indoors, and there's a lot of community spread. It just compounds itself one after the other. And the situation is that as we enter now from the Thanksgiving holiday season into the Christmas holiday season, it's going to be challenging."

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Dr. Fauci Said Not to Give Up Hope—But Also, Don't Give Up Your Public Health Measures

Are we doomed? "There is something we can do about it," Fauci has said. "These are really very, very disturbing numbers. That's not the time to throw our hands up and say, well, you know, we're helpless. We're not—there are things that we know for sure that we, other countries, various cities and States have done the fundamental, simple things of the uniform wearing of masks, the physical distancing, the avoiding crowds and congregate settings, particularly indoors. If we did that across the board, we would be able to blunt the surges we're seeing now we're not helpless."

So follow his 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 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.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek