Fauci warns that returning to normal will not be a light switch that you turn on and off


Dr. Anthony Fauci warned in recent interviews that the coronavirus pandemic is going to change certain aspects of public life in an unalterable way. And on Thursday, the country’s leading infectious disease specialist again warned Americans not to expect a rapid return to anything near normal.

“When you say” back to normal “, it will not be a light switch that you turn on and off,” Fauci said on “CBS This Morning”.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it was too early to start thinking about what life might be like after the pandemic. Even when the risk decreases, the process of returning to work and school and resuming public gatherings will likely be different between states and cities depending on the spread of the virus, he said.

Officials “will progress to normalization stages as we approach the end of the 30 days” of social distancing recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Fauci.

“I hope that by summer we will have taken many steps in this direction,” he said. He added that Americans may be able to plan summer events only “if we do the things we need to do to prevent the resurgence” of the virus.

In China, where COVID-19 cases have declined and the government has ended more than two months of lockouts, residents are still subject to many restrictions to prevent a possible second wave of the pandemic.

US health officials have warned against lifting the restrictions and making the social distancing guidelines too loose for the same reason.

If people let their guard down and become more lax by following the rules of social distancing, “a second, very acute wave” of infections could break out, said Birx.

Fauci, like Birx and others, said it was essential to maintain social isolation and other containment measures. Only then will the U.S. continue to see positive signs, such as models showing a decrease in the number of Americans who should die, and early indications that the infection curve may flatten in New York. , the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States.

“This is good news, but the thing we have to watch out for is that we are not taking this good news to think that we may be able to back off a bit,” said Fauci on Thursday. “We have to continue, in many ways, to redouble our efforts to reduce physical separation in order to keep these numbers low and hopefully even reduce them.”

In another interview on NBC’s “Today”, Fauci expressed hope that the pandemic has reached a turning point.

“We hope, with cautious optimism, that as we enter a bad week, we will start to see a turnaround,” he said. “I think it’s okay. “

When asked if the stabilization in the New York hospital rate indicated that the curve was flattening, Fauci said, “We are looking at the very beginning of this. “

Although the New York numbers have remained stable for a few days, they must continue to do so in order to indicate a clear trend, he said.

Government officials hoped to make antibody tests available to people who have recovered from COVID-19 or who may be asymptomatic carriers. If they have a negative result, it could mean that they could return to work.

Fauci said the companies producing the tests say they will be available in “days or weeks”. The availability of a large number of tests, he said, could facilitate a possible reopening of the economy and a return to public life.

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