Hospitals in some cities are overflowing. The vaccine distribution isn't going fast enough. "The deaths are real," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said this weekend, referring to 350,000 Americans killed by COVID-19. "It could and likely will get worse in the next couple of weeks," he says. One way you can stop the surge and save lives, according to Fauci, is to avoid places where you could catch coronavirus. Read on to see where not to go right now—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Don't Hangout With Friends and Family Indoors
Dr. Fauci knows this one is tough, but indoor gatherings are one of the leading causes of the current surge. "Avoid the things that we know are pleasant and desirable, though they are dangerous now, like family and friends getting together, ten or twelve inside a house with poor ventilation," he has said. Fauci and other experts have warned that those gatherings can become super-spreader events, as a single asymptomatic person who's infected with COVID-19 could spread it to everyone present. And you wouldn't know until it's too late.
Don't Go to Bars or Inside Restaurants
Fauci has many times warned against restaurants and bars. "It's bars, indoor seating at restaurants — particularly at full capacity — and when you're in a restaurant, it's very tough if not impossible to eat and drink with a mask on, unless you figure out something that I don't know about," he said. "So when you're in a restaurant and particularly if you're at full capacity without good ventilation, then you've got a problem, but bars are particularly problematic."
Protests are the "Perfect Set-Up for Spread of the Virus"
There's an election protest scheduled January 6th in Washington D.C. and Black Lives Matter protests dominated the summer. "Every time I hear about or see the congregation of large crowds at a time and geographic area where there is active infection transmission, it is a perfect set-up for the spread of the virus in the sense of creating these blips that might turn into some surges," Fauci said earlier this summer. "So I get very concerned."
Use Caution at Houses of Worship
Dr. Fauci has warned against any indoor gatherings, so it's logical that being in a house of worship would be a dangerous place. "The people who are within six, 10 feet of each other really need to" wear masks, said Fauci, who brought up singing as a danger when talking to actress Tiffany Haddish. "It's a respiratory-borne virus," Fauci told her. "So it is transmitted from one person to another, by very microscopic respiratory secretions. And this is important that I think people don't understand that certainly could be from coughing or sneezing—but it could even be from talking because what we're seeing now—and singing even more than talking. And that's the reason why you saw all those people in the church, in the choir who got infected. So the way you prevent that is by what we keep talking about is a mask and physical distancing. Because if you stay a certain distance away and avoid crowds, yeah."
How to Survive This Pandemic
Although the vaccine is "a glimmer of hope," says Fauci, only 4 million Americans are vaccinated, well short of the 70 to 90% needed for herd immunity and our return to "normality." So 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 (or to 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.