Skip to content

Virus Expert Predicts When We'll Be Back to "Normal"

“As we look out into the summer, we're going to be able to resume normal activity” or something like it.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek
woman takes off the face mask

The coronavirus pandemic isn't over, but experts are getting more vocal about when things might at least appear normal-ish, at least here in the United States. As cases rage in India, more than half of Americans have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, bringing cases down dramatically, although caution is still required. Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb appeared on Face the Nation Sunday to predict when we'd be back to normal—and also issued other essential advice. Read each slide for his life-saving advice—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Had COVID and Didn't Know It.

1

The Virus Expert Said We'd Get Back to Something "Resembling" Normal By Summer 

Happy business owner opening the door at a cafe wearing a facemask
iStock

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has said New York City will fully reopen on July 1st—is this a good idea? "Look, I think as we look out into the summer, we're going to be able to resume normal activity or something resembling normal activities—there's still going to be a layer of protection on top of what we do," said Gottlieb. Read on to hear about how mutations could complicate matters. 

2

The Virus Expert Shared Some Really Good News Worth Reading

Female and male doctors wearing masks and uniforms are visiting to check the symptoms of middle-aged female patients lying in bed.
Shutterstock

The "situation in the U.S. continues to improve," said Gottlieb. "And I think in the coming weeks, we're going to see an acceleration [of] the declining cases. And one of the big reasons is we've vaccinated 145 million Americans—who've had at least one dose—about a hundred million Americans been fully vaccinated at this point. This has been a monumental achievement rolling out this vaccine, getting that many Americans vaccinated, it's going to continue. We'll continue to chip away at it. The rate of vaccination is going to slow in the coming weeks, but we'll continue to pick up more people as we get into the summer. And if you want to get a harbinger of what it's going to look like, look at San Francisco right now—about 71% of people in San Francisco have had at least one dose of vaccine, 47% have been fully vaccinated. They're recording about 20 cases a day. They have about 20 people who've been hospitalized. So they've dramatically reduced COVID in that city. And it's largely the result of vaccination. I think that right now, the gains that we're seeing across the country are locked in. We're entering warm months when this is going to create a backstop against the continued spread of coronavirus. And so we're locking in these gains."

3

The Virus Expert Said the Virus Will Keep Mutating, so Get Vaccinated

Woman with face mask getting vaccinated, coronavirus, covid-19 and vaccination concept.
Shutterstock

"The more that this virus continues to circulate, the more it's going to continue to mutate," said Gottlieb. "But the reality is that these variants aren't just cropping up in one market and in migrating around the world, they're cropping up simultaneously in every market. You're getting what we call convergent evolution, where the same mutations that are arising in other parts of the world are also rising here spontaneously. There's probably a finite number of ways that this virus is going to try to mutate to evade immunity. And it's testing us everywhere in the world. So the same mutations that are arising in other parts of the world are rising here as well. They just haven't gotten a foothold here in part because we've been vaccinating out public."

RELATED: Most COVID Patients Did This Before Getting Sick

4

The Virus Expert Said The Numbers are Going Down Encouragingly

Healthcare worker with protective equipment performs coronavirus swab on a woman.
Shutterstock

"There's a lot of testing going on at home," said Gottlieb. "Now with that home tests that aren't necessarily getting reported unless they're positive cases. So I think the positivity rate around the country is even lower than what we're recording, but we're seeing cases come down with seeing hospitalizations come down, which is really the hardest measure of the overall impact of COVID hospitalizations are pretty good indicator of where the direction is heading and they're coming down as well. So I think these gains are pretty sustainable at this point."

5

How to Stay Safe Until July

Woman put on medical protective mask for protection against coronavirus.
iStock

So follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP, 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, 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.