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This is When We'll Return to Normal, Says Expert

"This thing is going to come bouncing back in some form in the fall, and it's going to make us worried," says the doctor.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek
woman takes off the face mask

The coronavirus has killed more than 425,000 Americans and wounded many more. We'll never return to pre-pandemic normal. But how about normal-ish? When can we go to a baseball game or out to eat without worrying about death around every corner? Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has a stock answer for that: "Fall," he has said, always adding that it depends on the number of people who get vaccinated. However, one noted former Harvard professor is less optimistic. Read on to hear when he thinks things will actually return to normal—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

"It's Not Realistic" That Things Will be Normal in the Fall

Dr. William A. Haseltine, a former professor at Harvard Medical School who is known for his groundbreaking work on HIV/AIDS and the human genome, spoke during an online program organized by Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College.

"Do you think this is realistic?" asked the moderator about Fauci's fall prediction.

"It's not realistic," said Dr. Haseltine. "This thing is going to come bouncing back in some form in the fall, and it's going to make us worried. And there are going to be variants that escape our drugs and our vaccines, just like there is with the flu." 

"Is it going to be worse than the flu?" he continued. "Maybe a bit worse than the flu? I would say steady state is kind of going to be like a really bad flu year. What we have to do is cope with it in different ways. We have to say, well, who's it really going to be killing—well, 40% of the people4pm. killed were in our nursing homes, assisted living. And another way to tackle this, which we haven't even begun to talk about is how we handle our elder population. They're very fragile and they're dying in massively disproportionate numbers. And so a solution may not be a vaccine as much as it is a better way to ensure the safety and care of our older population."

So when might we get back to normal? More like 2022, he says.

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

How to Stay Healthy Until Things are Back to Normal

Until we've reached herd immunity, follow the public health 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.