- As the coronavirus pandemic approaches the 11-month mark, coronavirus infections and deaths are at an all-time high.
- While vaccines may ultimately eliminate the virus, life may not return to normal until late 2021.
- Once the pandemic ends, Dr. Fauci — who sometimes works 18 hour days — says that he’s looking forward to safely sitting down in a restaurant, ordering a burger, and washing it all down with a cold beer.
To say that Dr. Fauci has been a busy man during the midst of the coronavirus pandemic would be a gross understatement. Aside from his role as a lead member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Fauci routinely sits down for extensive interviews with a variety of media outlets and professional groups. Fauci these days is the public face of the U.S. response to the coronavirus, a role that undoubtedly involves long days and a wildly hectic schedule. Fauci’s day-to-day work is all the more impressive given that he’s on the verge of turning 80.
Fauci, like all Americans, is eagerly looking forward to the day when we can finally put the coronavirus pandemic behind us. And though that may not happen for quite a few months, if not longer, Fauci already knows the first thing he wants to do once this madness finally ends. During a recent radio interview on 94.7 The Wave, Fauci said that he wants to be able to leave work and “stop at a favorite small restaurant or bar and sit there [and] have a beer and a hamburger or something and just relax.”
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Earlier this month, Fauci shed some light on just how busy he is during a typical day. Speaking to the Huffington Post, Fauci said he typically wakes up at 5 in the morning and is up until 11 PM at night. His days are jam-packed, which leaves him barely any time to take his foot off the gas.
As an illustrative example, this is what Fauci’s schedule looked like on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving:
5:10 a.m. to 6 a.m. Showered and shaved
6 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Resumed dealing with email
6:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. Appeared on ABC News’ “Good Morning America”
7 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Left home for NIH
7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. Appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal”
8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Appeared on WNYC-FM’s “The Takeaway”
8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Interview with Chicago television station
9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Visited two severe COVID-19 patients under treatment at the NIH Clinical Center and their primary physicians
10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Video meeting with senior National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases staff
10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Interview with newspaper reporter
11:00 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. Video meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, NIH Director Francis Collins, CDC Director Robert Redfield, FDA Administrator Stephen Hahn and other health officials
11:50 a.m. to 12 p.m. A bathroom break and more email
12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. Interviewed with Byron Allen for theGrio on skepticism about the vaccine among Black Americans
12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. HuffPost interview
1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Another television appearance
1:30 p.m. to 1:50 p.m. The elusive scheduled break
1:50 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Another newspaper interview
2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Interview with scientific journal
3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Prep for an upcoming speech to “the centers for science and international something-or-other, one of those think tanks in Washington”
3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Video meeting with White House Coronavirus Task Force
4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Video meeting with NIH vaccine scientists
5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Responding to phone calls
As to when Fauci might finally have the well-deserved opportunity to enjoy eating at a restaurant in peace, well, that remains to be seen. New coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are certainly encouraging, but they’ll only be able to effectively combat the coronavirus once a majority of Americans take it. To that end, Fauci recently said that healthy Americans may not be able to receive the vaccine until March or April.
Fauci, as a result, believes that we might have to wait until summer of next year, at the earliest, before life returns to normal.
“If we get the overwhelming majority of people taking the vaccine and you have on the one hand an effective vaccine and a high degree of uptake of the vaccine,” Fauci said last month, “we could start getting things back to relative normal as we get into the second and third quarter of the year, where people can start doing things that were too dangerous just months ago.”
Meanwhile, eating at restaurants — at least indoors — may take a little bit longer.
“You know, that may take several months into the second half and beyond of 2021,” Fauci said this week. “And I’ve actually said this every day and written about it — a vaccine right now is not a substitute for the normal standard public health measures of wearing a mask, keeping your distance, avoiding congregate crowded sections, and particularly indoors. It’s not a substitute. It compliments it.