With coronavirus case counts off the charts—and hospitalizations triple the number they were in October—the pandemic is being called "a national disaster." In response, Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared on This Week yesterday with a warning: We will likely to see "another surge superimposed upon the surge" if you don't stick to the public fundamentals, especially post-Thanksgiving. Read on to hear his essential advice for how you and your family can stay safe, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Dr. Fauci Said Anyone Who Socialized Outside Their Bubble Over T-Day Should Quarantine
"Right now, as people go back," from the Thanksgiving holiday, "we want to urge them, if they've been in situations outside of the family setting, in which they really don't know the level of exposure, to be really careful when you either return from the place that you went or other people come back into your house, that you've really got to understand the importance of trying to prevent further spread and further surge," said Fauci. "That may be when you go back to where you've came from, if it's possible, to quarantine yourself for a period of time, or even get tested to make sure that you're not bringing infection back to another place, be it another home, or another family."
He warned that "we likely will have an increase in cases as we get into the colder weeks of the winter and as we approach the Christmas season" and begged: "Please don't forget the standard public health measures that we talk about. The reason I say that, and almost plead with people, is that we do know that it does work. Countries that have mitigated have turned around the surge. States that have mitigated have had a turnaround of the inflection of the curve. So it does work.
And as we've just heard, help is on the way. Vaccines are really right on the horizon. We'll be having vaccines available for the higher-priority people towards the middle and end of December and as we get into January and February. So everyone is totally empathetic about the fatigue that everyone is feeling. But if we can hang in there — hang in there a bit longer and do the fundamental things, wearing of masks uniformly, avoiding crowds in congregate settings, keeping physical distance, washing your hands — they seem simple in the enormity of the problem that we're facing, but they do make a difference."
Dr. Fauci Predicted More Restrictions
The host, Martha Raddatz, asked Dr. Fauci: "Do you think we'll be under the same restrictions that you recommended on Thanksgiving, going into Christmas?"
"You know, Martha, I can't see how we're not going to have the same thing. Because, when you have the kind of inflection that we have, it doesn't all of a sudden turn around like that," he answered. "So clearly, in the next few weeks, we're going to have the same sort of thing, and perhaps even two or three weeks down the line, Martha, we may see a surge upon a surge. You know, we don't want to frighten people, but that's just the reality. We said that these things would happen as we got into the cold weather and as we began traveling. And they've happened. It's going to happen again."
"So I cannot see all of a sudden a relaxation of the kinds of recommendations or restrictions," he continued. "Because we're getting into colder weather and an — and an even larger holiday season, as people travel to come back and forth for Christmas. So I don't see a relaxation of the kind of recommendations and restrictions that we've made."
Dr. Fauci Said Close the Bars, Not the Schools
When it comes to "shut downs," Dr. Fauci was clear on one point: "close the bars and keep the schools open is what we really say," he said. "Obviously, you don't have one size fits all. But as I said in the past and as you accurately quoted me, the default position should be to try as best as possible within reason to keep the children in school, or to get them back to school. The best way to ensure the safety of the children in school is to get the community level of spread low. So, if you mitigate the things that you know are causing spread in a very, very profound way, in a robust way, if you bring that down, you will then indirectly and ultimately protect the children in the school because the community level is determined how things go across the board."
"So, my feeling would be the same thing," he continued. "If you look at the data, the spread among children and from children is not really very big at all, not like one would have suspected. So, let's try to get the kids back, but let's try to mitigate the things that maintain and just push the kind of community spread that we're trying to avoid. And those are the things that you know well — the bars, the restaurants where you have capacity seating indoors without masks, those are the things that drive the community spread, not the schools."
So avoid those spaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.