The coronavirus crisis is growing, not slowing, as Omicron and Delta surges are filling up hospitals in many states, shutting down Broadway shows and NFL games and causing cases to balloon worldwide. How can you stay safe, especially during this holiday season? To help you do so, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on ABC’s This Week yesterday. Read on for his five essential pieces of life-saving advice—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
Dr. Fauci Warned Omicron is “Overtaking All the Other Variants”
“Certainly, we need to take this very seriously,” said Dr. Fauci, “because one thing about Omicron that’s very clear, not only now in our own country, but clearly through South Africa, UK and other countries, it has an extraordinary capability of transmitting efficiently from person to person. It seems to be overtaking all the other variants, including Delta, with a doubling time of about two to three days, which means that this is really something to be reckoned with. It is really rapidly spreading literally throughout the world and certainly in our own country.”
Dr. Fauci Said Here is the Only Way to Remain Safer Over the Holidays
If you’re vaccinated, can you travel and see your family over the holidays? Fauci says “if you are vaccinated and boosted and are prudent, when you travel, when you’re in an airport to be wearing a mask all the time, you have to be wearing a mask on a plane, [and] do not do things like go to gatherings where there people who you do not know what their vaccination status is. If you do that, and some people are even going the extra step or the extra mile of maybe even getting tested. When you have people coming over the house, we now have a much wider availability of point-of-care tests that you can get a result in about 15 minutes. So you might want to do that. If you do these things, I do believe that you can feel quite comfortable with a family setting, the dinners and the gatherings that you have around the holiday season. Nothing is 100% risk free, but I think if you do the things that I just mentioned, you’d actually mitigate that risk enough to feel comfortable about being able to enjoy the holiday.”
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Dr. Fauci Said This About a Holiday Lockdown
Will there be more lockdowns? “I don’t see that in the future,” said Dr. Fauci, “if we do the things that we’re talking about.” However, he added: “The thing that continues to be very troublesome to me and my public health colleagues are the fact that we still have about 50 million people in the country who eligible to be vaccinated, who are not vaccinated when you have that degree of vulnerability and you have a virus like Amron that spread so rapidly. It is quite likely that we are gonna see in some sections of the country, a significant stress on the hospital system, as well as on the healthcare workers are getting exhausted by all of this. So the stress is going to be there. I don’t foresee the kind of lockdowns that we’ve seen before, but I certainly see the potential for stress on our hospital system.”
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Dr. Fauci Said There’s a “Crisis of the Unvaccinated” but Even Vaccinated People Should be Prudent
If you have two shots and a booster, you are much less likely to experience severe disease from COVID. Therefore, “it is certainly much more of a crisis of the unvaccinated,” said Dr. Fauci. And: “There are other tools besides vaccine and wearing a mask” which “compliments the protection that you get from a vaccine and a boost. So I don’t think you should be in a situation that if you’re vaccinated, you don’t ever have to worry about wearing a mask. Vaccinated or unvaccinated, in certain circumstances, masks work in diminishing the likelihood that you are going to get infected, or that if you are infected and without symptoms, that you’re gonna spread it to someone else. So it’s not an either/or. You can do both and should do both.”
He said we should all continue to wear masks on airplanes: “When you’re dealing with a closed space, even though the filtration is good, that you want to go that extra step, when you have people, you know, you get a flight from Washington to San Francisco, it’s a well over a five hour flight, even though you have a good filtration system, I still believe that masks are a prudent thing to do, and we should be doing it.”
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Dr. Fauci Said “We’re in the Middle of World War II”
Dr. Fauci was asked if he’ll continue to do his job after his 81st birthday, which is around the corner. “I’m not gonna walk away,” said Dr. Fauci. “We’re at a war. It’s kind of like, we’re halfway through World War II and you decide, I think I’ve had enough of this. I’m walking away. You can’t do that. You gotta finish it. And we’re gonna finish this and get back to normal.” Help us get there—get vaccinated or boosted ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, 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.