It has only been a little over six months since COVID-19 struck these shores, and life hasn’t been the same since. More than 7.1 million Americans have been infected with the virus and more than 204,000 have lost their lives as a result. Unfortunately, while the pandemic is far from over, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, “there is an end” in sight. In a new interview with JAMA‘s Howard C. Bauchner explained when the coronavirus nightmare will be over, and what will have to happen for that to occur. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
“There is an End to This”
“There is an end to this,” Fauci revealed. “We just have to hang in there a bit. One of the rescuing elements is going to be a vaccine and hopefully that’s only a few months away.”
The biggest issue, according to Fauci, is “people are exhausted from being shut down” and feeling helpless. “Sometimes they see no end in sight and they say, ‘Oh, goodness gracious. You know, I’m just going to try and live my life.'” And while that is understandable, he notes the importance of reminding everyone that by the end of the year, “November, December,” there will likely be a vaccine and “we’ll be able to start vaccinating people December, January, February.”
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You Will Still Have to Practice Good Public Health Measures
However, while things will start to improve when there is a vaccine, it isn’t going to be as miraculous and fast-acting at the community level as people hope. “I don’t think we’re going to get to the point where we have a sufficiently effective enough vaccine in which enough people get vaccinated to essentially get back to normal in a few months, it’s not going to happen,” Fauci admits.
This is why the “stringency of the health practices”—aka his fundamentals—will still be crucial, especially, mask wearing and social distancing.
In a separate interview with AIDS activist Peter Staley, Fauci also pointed out that herd immunity isn’t realistic anytime soon. “We have plenty of vulnerable people in the United States,” he admitted. “So we have a long way to go to get to herd immunity. And by a long way, what are the implications of that? The implications of that if you are not attentive to people getting infected, because you say, well, we’re almost on our way to herd immunity—[that] has gotten us now 200,000 deaths, 6.9 million infections. So, you know, just the data speak for themselves.”
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How to Avoid COVID-19
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.