With a potential 450,000 Americans dead from coronavirus by February, now is the time to practice your public health fundamentals. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, appeared on the Today Show with host Savannah Guthrie this morning to discuss just that—and warn you against doing a few dangerous things. Guthrie asked Fauci if the situation was worse than he feared. “It’s at least as bad as I had feared,” he said. “You know, we’re in a very precarious situation right now. there certainly is light at the end of the tunnel with a vaccine, but we’re not there yet. So we really have to intensify our public health measures to try and blunt this trajectory, which is really significant.” 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 Begs You to Avoid Congregate Settings
Guthrie asked why we’re in such a precarious situation. “It was a combination of things,” said Fauci. “It’s a combination of getting into the winter. People spending more time indoors, a combination of the holiday season, people doing the normal, wonderful things of congregating together at meals with friends and family, you know, as innocent as those things seem. In fact, those are the things in many respects that continue to drive this. And now that we’re approaching the Christmas season, it’s even more of a challenge. So this is, this is a tough situation, Savannah. It’s not easy.”
Regarding those family gatherings, Fauci said we haven’t even felt the impact of the Thanksgiving rush yet. “We don’t expect to see the full brunt of it between two and three weeks following the Thanksgiving [holiday],” said Fauci. “So I think we have not yet seen the post-Thanksgiving peak. That’s the concerning thing because the numbers in and of themselves are alarming, and then you realize that it is likely we’ll see more of a surge as we get two to three weeks past the Thanksgiving holiday. And the thing that concerns me is that it butts right on the Christmas holiday, as people start to travel and shop and congregate.”
Hence his warning: “That’s the reason why we plead with them to please as best as you can uniform wearing of masks, keep distances as to the best possible way you can, avoid crowds in congregate settings, particularly indoors. And if you are indoors in that circumstance always wear your mask.”
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How to Survive the Pandemic—and Save Lives
Dr. Fauci begs you to follow those fundamentals, lest we have, as CDC chief Dr. Robert Redfield has warned may come, 450,000 people dead by February. “I hope that that’s not going to happen,” said Fauci. “And that’s the reason why all of us are out here telling people, literally pleading with them about the fact that we can do something about that. It shouldn’t be despair where you throw your hands up and say, it’s inevitable. It’s going to happen. If you do the fundamental things of public measures, you can blunt it. And now probably is more than ever to double down on it because vaccines are literally at the threshold. We’re going to be starting to administer to the higher risk people and to people who are the healthcare providers in mid and late December. And then as we get into January, February and March, more and more people will be able to get vaccinated. So now’s the time to hang in there and not give up.”
So don’t give up on those fundamentals, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.