• The latest coronavirus update from White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci contains a nugget of good news — that normal life could start returning in the US in the second or third quarter of 2021.
  • However, that’s dependent on people making the right behavioral decisions both now and in the aftermath of the arrival of a successful vaccine.
  • Dr. Fauci has been sounding the warning on certain types of behaviors that dramatically increase peoples’ risk for catching COVID-19 right now.

Over the weekend, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci shared one of his most upbeat coronavirus updates yet — a prediction that Americans can expect a gradual return to normal life in the second or third quarter of 2021. That’s thanks in part to the unprecedented speed with which Pfizer is rolling out its mRNA-based coronavirus vaccine which has been determined to have a more than 90% efficacy rate. Which sounds great … for all of us in the near future. But what about now?

Unfortunately, coronavirus cases are surging pretty much all over the US right now, and there’s really nowhere to hide. According to a tweet on Monday from the CDC, “the percentage of people testing positive for #COVID19 and the percentage of COVID-19-associated medical visits are increasing in every region of the United States.” Here’s why Dr. Fauci says that’s happening — because too many people are still engaged in these types of behaviors that you should stop immediately.


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First, stay away from bars and nightclubs, which are so risky to patronize right now. “Bars — really not good,” Fauci said at a Senate hearing. “Really not good. Congregation at a bar, inside, is bad news. We really have got to stop that … Nightclubs are equally as dangerous, involving the same potential of spread due to a dangerous combination of drinking, lots of people congregating in a tight indoor space, talking, laughing, and dancing.”

Bars are an easy source of coronavirus spread, and here’s just one example. Check out this data from the Louisiana Department of Health showing where COVID-19 outbreaks and cases have been found:

Let’s take a closer look at some additional places and behaviors that Dr. Fauci wants people to avoid as COVID cases surge around the country:

No big family gatherings during the holidays. Virus surges have tended to follow like clockwork in the wake of holidays this year, per Dr. Fauci. And he’s already worried about Thanksgiving, because the tight confines of a home that may contain lots of different family members — facilitating an easy spread of the virus. “I mean, it’s such a beautiful tradition, Thanksgiving, of getting family together,” Dr. Fauci said during an interview with Yahoo News editor-in-chief Daniel Klaidman and chief investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff. “I think we just need to realize that things might be different this year.

“I have three children that I would love to see over Thanksgiving. They’re in three separate parts triangulated throughout the country. They are adult women. I’d love to see them. They themselves are concerned about getting on a plane, being in an airport, coming in for a couple of days with their father, me, who is in an age group that is vulnerable. And they’ve made the decision that they’re not going to do that.”

Non-essential travel, likewise, is a bad idea right now. Unless you absolutely have to travel, and unless you “absolutely know that you’re not infected,” Dr. Fauci is urging people to stay at home.

Indoor dining. The same with sitting down inside a restaurant to eat. “When you’re dealing with community spread, and you have the kind of congregate setting where people get together, particularly without masks, you’re really asking for trouble.”

Among other activities that Dr. Fauci says people should not be engaged in right now is things like patronizing places gyms, religious gatherings, theaters, and cruises. His mantra remains that people should stay at home when possible, and outdoors when you’re in public, wear a face mask and stay socially distanced.

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.