How long will you have to wear a mask and socially distance from those who don't live in your home? According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's go-to infectious disease expert, it is going to be awhile. During a 30-minute discussion between Fauci and GBMC HealthCare System President and CEO John Chessare, the key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force revealed that masks and social distancing are going to be the norm for over a year at least. Read on to find out why, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
It Will Be Late 2021 Until We're Remotely Normal Again
While Fauci admitted that he isn't exactly sure how much of the population would need to be infected with COVID or vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, in a best case scenario—if the majority had immunity—it will still be over a year before any sort of normalcy exists.
"Let's assume its 75% of the population is protected either from already being infected and/or having a vaccine. I think by the time we get there, it's going to be well into the end of this year before that occurs, so I don't think people are going to be able to get rid of the masks and not worry about social distancing and avoiding crowds until we get into the third quarter or fourth quarter of 2021," he said.
If the vaccine is effective and people actually get it, things could be "close to normal," at that time.
Stick to the Fundamentals—and Get Your Flu Shot
Fauci also urged the importance of sticking to the fundamentals when a vaccine does hit the market—which will likely be in the next few months. If they don't, it could be "very dangerous," he warned.
"Bottom line: we could begin vaccinating people before the end of this calendar year."
Even before there is a COVID vaccine, Dr. Fauci points out that there is an easy way to protect your health during this coming months: Get a flu shot.
"I got my flu shot yesterday," Fauci revealed. "Everybody, six months of age or over, unless you have a significant contraindication should get vaccinated with the influenza vaccine. We know it isn't a perfect vaccine, but it does prevent infection to various percentages depending upon your demographic group. And it also clearly mitigates the possibility of your having to be hospitalized and even dying. So it's clearly beneficial."
Dr. Fauci explains that if everyone does their part, flu season could be milder than usual this year, as it was in Australia.
"I believe that if we combine widespread use and uptake of influenza vaccines together with the kind of public health practices, I'm mentioning that we could essentially take flu off the table and avoid that confluence of two respiratory diseases at the same time, namely COVID and influenza."
So get that flu shot, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.