As coronavirus cases break new records every day, you must be wondering when, if ever, life will return to normal again. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious disease expert, spoke at the University of Melbourne's virtual Conversations on COVID-19: A Global View with Dr Anthony Fauci and Professor Sharon Lewin. Read on to see when he predicted things would return to "normal," and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
When Will Things Get Back to Normal?
"Let me start with the concept of normal that everyone is wondering about," asked one of the professors. "What do you think the new normal will look like? What will it look like next year? What might it look like three years from now?"
"That it's going to be some time till we get back to what we considered normal before December 2019," Dr. Fauci answered. "And I think that will not happen abruptly. It will happen gradually, probably very much stimulated by what I hope will be the successful implementation of a COVID-19 vaccine campaign globally. Because if you vaccinate in one country and the rest of the world continues to have a pandemic outbreak, inevitably, all countries will again be involved. I would imagine at least in the United States, the way things are looking that if we get a vaccination campaign and by the second or third quarter of 2021, we have vaccinated a substantial proportion of the people. I think it will be easily by the end of 2021. And perhaps even into the next year, before we start having some semblances of normality."
"And it really depends on what you mean by normal," Dr. Fauci continued.
"I mean, if normal means you can get people into theater without worrying about what we call a 'congregate setting.' Superinfections. If you can get restaurants to open at almost full capacity, if you could have sporting events to be able to be played with spectators, either in the stands or in the arena, then I think that's going to be well, well into 2021 and perhaps beyond. I think one of the things that will be clear that our sensitivity to the potential devastating effects of a pandemic will be extraordinarily heightened. And I don't think that we will have the normal way of interacting with each other, particularly in the sense of wearing masks, which I think will become very commonplace as it is in many countries in Asia, even outside of the context of a pandemic outbreak. Again, I think it's many months."
How to Stay Safe During the Pandemic
As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.