“Here in the United States, we seem to be stuck on that plateau of around 75,000 COVID cases,” virus expert Michael Osterholm bemoaned on his podcast this week. “Daily cases have actually increased over the last week, but that’s as hospitalizations continue their slow decline. However, over these next two months with holiday get-togethers increasing travel, the overall mood of people being done with the pandemic.” With “only 58% of the American public fully vaccinated, it feels like another national surge of infections is inevitable. Is it just a question of how big it’s going to be.” With this in mind, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and other experts have issued the following pieces of life-saving advice. Read on for all 5—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
Virus Expert Said We Are “Not at the End of This Pandemic By Any Stretch of the Imagination”
“No, we’re not at the end of this pandemic by any stretch of the imagination,” said Osterholm. “And I think it’s unfortunate when we say that. I had a number of people, for example, who contributed to the mindset of last May. I was very concerned in May about the Alpha variant and then with the emergence of the Delta variant, what that may do to change the future course of this pandemic. And while people were all predicting, we’d have a mild summer few cases and maybe a flare up a bit in the winter, you saw what happened, but you know, what that thinking in May is what in turned our country into a blind’s eye as to what this virus can still do. And cause part of the major reaction that people had and said, wait a minute, you told me this was done. I don’t know who told you a bunch of people may have said that, but who told you? I don’t know. And I think at this point, this is a really major point of the population psychology. I’m not here to try to scare people or to, you know, bad news, Mike, but you have to understand that what’s happened in the Upper Midwest. What’s happening in the four corners what’s happened in the far Northeast is real and that we have to be prepared to respond again and again.”
Dr. Fauci Warns Everyone Needs to be Careful
“If you look at the comparison between unvaccinated people and vaccinated people, it is very, very clear that the overwhelming burden of infection, hospitalization and death is weighted towards the unvaccinated,” Dr. Fauci told The Daily podcast. Factor this into your holiday planning. “So if you’re in a vaccinated person, your family is vaccinated and you are in a situation where the people that you interact with have been vaccinated, you can have a very good holiday. You can enjoy the warmth and the companionship, your family and Thanksgiving. You could do the same thing over Christmas. However, if you are among the un-vaccinated and you get into winter, then you’re going to have a tough time. And I think there is a possibility that you will see an uptick in cases that will be disproportionately born as a burden among the unvaccinated. However, as we’ve said before, as that uptick occurs and you get more infections and more dynamics of infection spread in the community that would put even the vaccinated at more risk. Because the more dynamic of infection, the greater likelihood that a vaccinated person whose immunity might be waning, the greater likelihood that that person will come into contact with someone who’s spreading the infection.”
Virus Expert Says the Holidays May Bring More Surges
The “big thing that’s about to happen is Thanksgiving and the holidays where people travel, people get together with each other and we know what happened last year,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, a virus expert. “We saw big spikes in cases right after the holidays. So that’s what I am worried about is I look out to the next few weeks, and what’s going to happen is in families that are fully vaccinated, I think things will go reasonably well and it’ll be safe. In places where you’re going to have people were unvaccinated, getting together, people are gonna get infected—for instance, in the Northern half of the country where the weather has gotten colder, I’m very worried about what’s gonna happen over the next six weeks. And, and obviously all of it at this point is preventable. There’s no good reason why people need to be getting sick and hospitalized, die.” Keep reading to hear his warning about breakthrough infections.
Virus Expert Says There’s a Lot of People This Virus Can Still Reach
“When I look at what’s happening right now, I look at the four corners or I look at the Upper Midwest. I look at the Upper Northeast and there are 17 states I’m following carefully. And we’ll see what happens in these areas,” said Osterholm. “And of course, if California New York lights up, which I have every reason to believe they’re going to eventually, because we’d have large pockets of under-vaccinated or people who are not vaccinated at all in those states. And when that happens, that could again, could fundamentally change our surge numbers. So when I look at this right now, I just have to say, I think we’re at a tipping point. The national picture will largely depend on what transpires in many of these states I just talked about in the coming weeks. There’s a lot of virus still out there and a lot of people it can reach.”
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.