Now that three vaccines are available and more Americans are being vaccinated every day, there is hope that the COVID-19 pandemic will be over sooner rather than later and life can go back to normal. Many people are wondering when exactly people will be able to return to movie theaters, school will resume as usual, social gatherings will be the norm, and of course, when we can throw our face masks away. On Monday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared as a guest on the Tisch College Distinguished Speaker Series, revealing when he thinks we will finally be able to stop wearing masks. Read on to find out what he said—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
Dr. Fauci Said We Should be Free of Masks By Next Summer
Fauci was asked by the interviewer if we would still be wearing masks during the summer of 2022. “I don’t think so,” he responded. “I think by that time, provided we don’t have a variance surge and we get most of the people vaccinated.”
He pointed out that once the majority of the country is vaccinated and herd immunity is achieved, masks won’t be as essential. “When you get the overwhelming majority of the population vaccinated, the level of virus in the community gets so low that the risk of infection is going to be miniscule,” explained, adding that he is confident we will be there by the summer of 2022—and possibly sooner. Keep reading to see what he said about schools getting back in session.
Dr. Fauci Said Kids Should be Able to Return to School Soon
If everyone does their part, children could safely return to school in the near future says Dr. Fauci. “If we continue to get the level of virus down now in March and April, that would make it much more safe and comfortable for the teachers and the students to get back to school this coming term,” he revealed.
Dr. Fauci Said the Inequalities Must be Addressed
When asked “What do we need to do to correct this inequity?”—given that black and brown populations have been hit harder by the virus—Dr. Fauci said: “Equity is been now the hallmark goal of the Biden administration. He’s made it very, very clear that in everything we do with COVID-19 in therapeutics and in vaccines, equity has to be the top front burner for us. We realize clearly that Brown and black people have suffered disproportionately getting infected and getting severe outcomes. Also, when you look at the numbers, they’re getting vaccinated less” due to “vaccine hesitancy, but” also “vaccine accessibility, not hesitancy. So put a hesitancy aside and say, what can we do about the accessibility?” He said the administration is “developing and standing up community vaccine centers, as many as 450, 500, several of them are already up in neighborhoods that demographically a weighted towards brown and black people.”
Dr. Fauci Said This Virus is Constantly Changing, and so the Information About it Changes
“One of the things that has really been a challenge for us is that this is not a static situation,” said Dr. Fauci. “It is really a dynamic situation where you have changing amount of information as it evolves. So what we knew on January the 10th, when the virus went on the public database and January 21st, when we had the first case in the United States, and then into February, when we saw that there was community spread and then into March and April, when we found out that it was spread by people who weren’t infected—public health messages changed according to the data that we had. So as a public health communicator, what you gotta make sure you do is that you speak based on the data as you know it, and you’re humble enough and modest enough to change that when the data tells you that a recommendation or a guideline needs to change.”
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How to Stay Safe During This Pandemic
Follow Fauci’s fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—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, 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.