The U.S. is still trying to come to grips with a coronavirus pandemic that is getting distressingly worse with each passing day. Across the country, dozens of states are reporting a record number of new infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. What’s more, a recent report from the Department of Health and Human Services revealed that upwards of 1,000 hospitals in the U.S. are “critically” understaffed amidst an avalanche of new COVID-19 admissions.
In light of the above, it’s as important as ever for people to adhere to coronavirus safety guidelines like mask-wearing and social distancing. It also means that people should refrain from visiting places they might otherwise enjoy over the course of a holiday weekend. To this end, Dr. Anthony Fauci recently sat down for an interview with The New York Times and listed out four places he would never visit during the ongoing pandemic. Fauci’s list certainly isn’t surprising but is nonetheless worth highlighting as a reminder for anyone experiencing pandemic fatigue.
Right off the bat, Fauci said he’d steer clear of bars.
Bars are really problematic. I have to tell you, if you look at some of the outbreaks that we’ve seen, it’s when people go into bars, crowded bars. You know, I used to go to a bar. I used to like to sit at a bar and grab a hamburger and a beer. But when you’re at a bar, people are leaning over your shoulder to get a drink, people next to each other like this. It’s kind of fun because it’s social, but it’s not fun when this virus is in the air. So I would think that if there’s anything you want to clamp down on for the time being, it’s bars.
Fauci also said he’d avoid public transportation if at all possible. While imploring people to stay put during the Thanksgiving holiday, Fauci said that any holiday travel should be done via car if possible. While bus and train companies have implemented a number of safety measures to keep travelers safe, it’s still a risky activity Fauci advises against.
In a similar vein, Fauci also said avoiding air travel is advisable during the current pandemic. While actually being on a plane isn’t risky due to air filtration and social distancing, going to an airport with millions of people passing through every week is an unnecessary risk, Fauci said.
Fauci also has no plan to visit a restaurant anytime soon.
“If we’re in the hot zone the way we are now, where there’s so many infections around, I would feel quite uncomfortable even being in a restaurant,” Fauci said. “And particularly if it was at full capacity.”
Looking ahead, the grim reality is that the coronavirus situation in the U.S. is poised to get much worse in the weeks ahead on account of the Thanksgiving holiday. Despite the CDC pleading with Americans to avoid holiday travel this year, airports have been bustling across the country. In fact, the TSA yesterday revealed that it screened nearly 2 million passengers on Friday and Saturday alone, making it the busiest two-day travel period we’ve seen since the pandemic began.
This, together with the fact that colder weather is driving people indoors, has experts anticipating an unprecedented spike in new infections over the next few weeks.
The only silver lining is that both Pfizer and Moderna have vaccine candidates that have proven to be 95% effective in clinical trials. In a best-case scenario, Pfizer’s vaccine may start being administered to healthcare workers by mid-December.