Last holiday season, people were gathering with friends and family from across the country to celebrate the holidays, going to see holiday blockbusters in the movie theaters, and attending holiday parties with coworkers. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, things look drastically different this year. As the most devastating year in recent history winds down, the question many people are asking is: When will life go back to normal?
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the nation’s top infectious disease expert spoke to FiveThirtyEight’s PODCAST-19 and revealed when he thinks that will happen. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
It Depends on Vaccination
Dr. Fauci explained that everything relies on whether Americans decide to get vaccinated. “It’s going to depend on our success in vaccinating what I would say is an overwhelming majority of the population, between 70 to 85 percent,” he revealed. “If we can do that, by mid to end of the summer, I think as we get into fall, October, November, times like that, I think we will be very close to a degree of normality.”
“There’s Light at the End of the Tunnel”
Even with people getting vaccinated, you need to observe public health measures. “Until you get a degree of immunity, that the level of infection is so low in the population, that there really is no longer a threat of a person getting infected. Because when you get the virus right now, we’re having a massive amount of community spread in the United States,” said Fauci. “If you get down to a very, very, very low baseline, then you could start pulling back on things like mask wearing, and congregating. You can start going to restaurants and going to a movie or going to a theater, but until you get that level of virus really low by vaccinating, a substantial proportion of the people, you still have to have some degree of public health measures that you’re implementing.”
While we are currently in the midst of the darkest months of the pandemic thus far, with infections, hospitalizations, and deaths surging across the country, it isn’t going to be this bad forever.
“This will end,” he confirmed. “I think they need to know because a lot of people, understandably, have COVID fatigue. They’re exhausted with this. And it’s very difficult to maintain some public health standards and public health measures when you’ve been doing it now for almost a year. The first case in the United States was January 21, 2020. So I think what we need to get people to understand is that help is on the way, there’s light at the end of the tunnel, and just hang in there a bit more and we’re going to be OK.”
RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci
How to Survive This Pandemic
As for yourself, follow Fauci’s 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.