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You won’t believe how long Dr. Fauci thinks it’ll take for life to go back to normal

Published Oct 12th, 2020 12:48PM EDT
Coronavirus Update Fauci
Image: vladimirhodac/Adobe

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  • With coronavirus infections on the rise, Dr. Fauci believes that life in the U.S. won’t return to normal until 2022.
  • Even if an effective vaccine is developed, it may only be 50-60% effective. Further, many people have indicated a reluctance to take the vaccine.
  • The U.S. is currently seeing upwards of 50,000 new coronavirus cases per day.

When the coronavirus pandemic started to get serious back in March of this year, it wasn’t long before states started instituting strict lockdown measures. Naturally, life under lockdown was a challenging time. All non-essential businesses were forced to close and many people were effectively stuck at home for months on end. In the midst of the lockdown, it was widely assumed that life in the U.S. would return to normal after just a few short months. After all, the reasoning went, if people stayed inside and only ventured outside while wearing masks, it would only be a matter of time before the coronavirus would be nothing more than a distant memory.

Seven months later, things haven’t exactly played out as expected. The sad reality is that we’re not anywhere close to putting the coronavirus behind us. The U.S. is currently seeing anywhere from 40,000 to 50,000 new coronavirus cases per day. What’s more, many states — like Wisconsin and Utah, for example — are currently experiencing a record number of new infections. The situation in Wisconsin recently became so dire that the state was forced to build a field hospital in order to handle an avalanche of new patients.

Back in August, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the U.S. would have to get the daily number of new coronavirus cases down below 10,000 per day before fall or “we’re going to have a very tough winter in the next few months.” Clearly, the U.S. isn’t anywhere close to hitting that 10,000/day threshold. What’s more, the number of new coronavirus cases has been steadily rising across the country for weeks now.

Looking ahead, the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better due to colder weather and the impending flu season. Indeed, many health experts believe that the two factors above are liable to result in a massive spike in new infections come November and December. In a worst-case scenario, some scientific models project that the coronavirus death rate could hit 2,900 per day by the end of the year.

All of this, of course, begs the question: when will the coronavirus pandemic end so that life can finally go back to normal? Tackling this question, Dr. Fauci earlier in the year said life won’t necessarily return to normal just because an effective vaccine is developed.

“It’s not like turning a light switch on or off at all,” Fauci said. “Even with a vaccine, it’s not going to be 99 percent effective. I’d love it to be but it’s not.” Recall that the FDA will likely approve a coronavirus vaccine even if it’s only 50% effective.

“So let’s say you have a 75% effective vaccine and 65 to 80% of the people want to get vaccinated,” Fauci added, “you still have a lot of people in society. And let’s take this country as a societal unit that are vulnerable to being infected. So, we’re going to softly go to a graded degree of normality.”

Consequently, Fauci believes that the U.S. will return to a semblance of normalcy by the summer of 2021. But life won’t fully go back to normal until 2022, Fauci believes.

“I believe that by the time we get to the end of 2021,” Fauci said last month, “if everyone gets vaccinated and we continue to implement the public-health measures that I have been talking about incessantly over the last several months — they’re not universally adhered to — if we do that, plus the vaccine, we’ll get to the point where the level of virus will be so low, and maybe even, you know, close to absent.”

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.