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Dr. Fauci Just Said When We'd Finally Get Back to Normal

The answer is complicated, says the infectious disease doctor.
FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab
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The last year has been one of the most tumultuous in American history due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 500,000 people losing their lives as a result of the virus. Now that three vaccines are being administered, there is hope that the end of the nightmare could be in close sight. Many of us are wondering: When will the pandemic be over? Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, joined Ian Bremmer on his show, GZERO this week, and revealed when he thinks life will start to feel normal once again. Read on to hear 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

1

Dr. Fauci Said Returning to Normal Depends on Vaccination

Doctor Giving Older Woman Corona Virus Vaccine Injection In Hospital
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Unfortunately, the timing of when life will start to return to normal depends on various factors. "To be honest with you, Ian, we don't know, we can't be certain," Dr. Fauci said when asked the question. "If we nail this down in the sense of getting the overwhelming proportion of the population vaccinated, and we get herd immunity within our country, things could change dramatically, at least for the time being in our country." 

2

The Return to Normal Also Depends on Global Success

COVID-19 coronavirus in France, medical mask on gargoyle of Notre Dame in Paris
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And, while we might start to achieve success in terms of immunity domestically, it will also depend on what is going on in the rest of the world. "The wild card in all of this is that if we don't control it at the global level, there's always the danger of outside world," he said. In other words, "where there's a lot more virus, if we don't get the world and the global response that we can get variants that could come back into the country and regenerate outbreaks." 

3

Will We Have a Cyclical COVID Problem Yearly?

people masks subway
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There is also the question of whether COVID will become a yearly occurrence, like the flu, worrying about variants coming in from other countries. "The answer is, I don't know," he admitted. "But I believe the more aggressive we are in vaccinating ourselves, in contributing to the global effort to suppress this globally, not only within our own country, the adherence to public health measures that are so important, we could, it is possible that we could eliminate it as we did with measles in this country and eradicate it as we did with smallpox. That's conceivable, but we've got to put a lot of effort into that."

4

Dr. Fauci Says COVID is His Literal "Worst Nightmare"

Antibodies attacking SARS-CoV-2 virus
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Dr. Fauci started off explaining why COVID-19 is the virus he has been dreading his entire career. "I think we are living through much of that worst nightmare," he revealed. "I remember multiple times responding, 'A respiratory illness that jumped species from an animal host that has a high degree of efficiency and transmitting from person to person. Then as the high degree of morbidity and mortality, either on the general population or in certain groups of people.' And in this case, we know we're at that landmark right now of 500,000 deaths, which is historic and horrible and it's proportion. I mean, people are going to be talking about what we've been through over the last year in decades and decades to come in the similar manner that we would often reference the 1918 pandemic flu." Next, you'll hear about two tools we have to fight the virus.

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

5

Do Your Part to End the Pandemic 

Woman putting a second face mask.
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So follow 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.