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Dr. Fauci Says This is the Worst Place You Could Be

“With family, be with friends, have large gatherings—that is a very risky situation,” says Dr Fauci.
FACT CHECKED BY Checkmark Emilia Paluszek
Director Of Nat'l Institute of Allergy And Infectious Diseases Discusses Global Health Threats

We're in what's traditionally been called "the most wonderful time of the year" but it's difficult to feel that way, with more than 3,000 deaths daily due to coronavirus. "We have a big problem," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease doctor and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said this week. "This cannot be business as usual this Christmas because we're already in a very difficult situation, and we're going to make it worse, if we don't do something about it." During a talk with California State University Chancellor Timothy White, Fauci warned about which dangers to avoid. Read on to hear his warning, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

Dr. Fauci Called Travelling to Be With Family "A Risky Situation"

Given that the discussion was focused on colleges, with a focus on California, Dr. Fauci was asked what students might keep in mind, but Dr. Fauci appealed to all Amercians with his answer. "So let me just take a broad population-based comment or two on the holiday season, and then I'll get back to what you're asking about the students," he said. "We—when I say we, I say myself and the CDC—sort of pleaded with the country, right before Thanksgiving, as understandable as it is to want to travel, be with family, be with friends, have large gatherings—that is a very risky situation, particularly the degree of community spread that we have throughout the country. And particularly now, as I speak to you in the state of California, because as much as you want to do those beautiful traditional things, that all of us have done all our lives, the time to curtail that a bit, not eliminate it, but to just make sure you pay attention only necessary travel, keep the indoor gatherings of dinners to a modest size, not the 20 to 25 people at a big dinner indoors," he said.

Dr. Fauci wanted to get this message out before Christmas in particular. "And the reason is that if we don't do that, it is very likely we're going to get what I call a 'surge upon a surge'—we're already in a surge of cases. We don't want to stress the system more, particularly in the state of California, which is just right at that cusp of getting overrun in some areas of the state, with regard to beds, be they intensive care unit beds or trained personnel."

Dr. Fauci's Other Worst Places You Could Be

  • Don't hang out in bars. "Bars: really not good, really not good. Congregation at a bar, inside, is bad news. We really have got to stop that," says Fauci.
  • Avoid indoor restaurants—but ask Congress to bail them out. "If you shut down those establishments, you're going to diminish the transmissibility of infection, but you can't do it in a vacuum. You've got to help those people out," says Fauci.
  • Don't surround yourself with tons of people. "Avoid crowds," Fauci has said.
  • Don't hit the gym. The CDC "just came out with a figure that's really telling," Dr. Fauci told MSNBC's Chris Hayes earlier this year. "It shows the odds of risk of different types of situations… Coming right out at you from the figure is restaurants, bars, and gyms." 

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How to Survive This Pandemic

As for yourself, 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.