Coronavirus cases are slowing, but at around 70,000 a day, we have far too many cases for this pandemic to be anywhere near over. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told McClatchy in an interview how to stay safe, especially over the holiday season. Read on for 5 essential points that will save your life—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
Dr. Fauci Said Be Careful Who You Gather With
“Vaccinated people should look forward to spending holidays with the family and close friends,” Fauci said. “You’d like to know the status of the people if you’re going to have indoor gatherings with them, but if you’re vaccinated, you should look forward to spending your typical holiday time with family and with close friends.”
Dr. Fauci Called the Holiday Season a “Mixed Bag”
“It’s a mixed bag,” Fauci said. “I feel good that the cases, the hospitalizations and the deaths are coming down. I’m still concerned that we have 64 million people who are eligible to be vaccinated who have not been vaccinated.” “So it’s a mixed feeling in reaction to where things are,” he added. “It’s good news that we’re continuing to come down. It’s a bit frustrating when we have so many people who are eligible to be vaccinated who are not.”
Dr. Fauci Said Those Eligible Should Get Their Booster
“The data are really quite striking, of the difference and the protection that you get among individuals who have been boosted versus just vaccinated,” Fauci said. “People will make their individual choice, but I think if you look at the data, it would be suggested that when you are eligible, that you should get vaccinated with your boost.” He added: “It is conceivable — though we don’t know that until we prove it — that that third shot of an mRNA and second shot of a J&J might give much more durable protection than what the first two shots gave, and you would not see the waning that we’ve seen just with the primary vaccination regimen,” he said. “You’re going to have to follow these people and let the data tell you what the answer is.”
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Dr. Fauci Said Cases Could Keep Going Down if People Get Vaccinated
“I would expect that if we keep getting people vaccinated, more and more, the likelihood of there being a reversal of a downward trend becomes less and less,” Fauci said. As for a new variant coming: “All you can do is talk about what we know,” Fauci said. “We know that if you get more and more people vaccinated, and get the level of virus dynamics in the population as expressed by the number of cases per day — we’re at around 70,000 or so per day — the lower you get that number, the less likely you are to get mutations that could lead to a different variant.” “You can’t predict what new variant is going to occur,” he added, “except to say that the likelihood of there being mutations that would lead to a variant is always higher the higher level of viral dynamics there is in society.”
How to Stay Safe Out There
Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated 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.