When Dr. Anthony S. Fauci speaks, the world listens.
So he told ABC’s “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir that if mask and social distancing guidelines aren’t followed, “the U.S. could be dealing with dual outbreaks of the flu and COVID-19 come fall and winter.”
More Difficult Times Ahead …
Fauci reaffirmed what Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, predicted in July: the convergence of the outbreaks would be “one of the most difficult times that we’ve experienced in American public health” during a webinar for the Journal of the American Medical Association.
“I totally agree,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), who has advised six U.S. presidents. He noted that if masks and social distancing is not enforced “in a uniform way” Redfield’s prediction may become a reality.
“We’d have a convergence of two respiratory diseases,” he said during an interview Monday. “We can have a very difficult time.”
Fauci: What we can do …
“I want to impress upon the American people in a way that’s so clear: There are things that we can do that would get the level down,” he said. “If we go into the fall and the winter, David, with the same situation… we will have upticks of percent positive, and then you have the inevitable surging of infection.”
The U.S. is still seeing 50,000 to 70,000 cases a day, according to the World Health Organization. And nearly 200,000 lives have been lost.
“The way human nature is acting out there, it doesn’t seem likely [this goal will be met]. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done,” Fauci said. “I don’t know how more forcefully I can make that plea to the American people. That we can open the country, we can get back to normality, if we do some simple things.”
“My message is one of cautious optimism and hope,” he said. “But I’m also very realistic to know that if we don’t do it, we’re going to continue to have this up and down.”
But don’t do what?
Community: And …?
For nearly six months we’ve heard the public health community’s seemingly simple prescription: wash your hands, wear a mask, and keep socially distant. And within the last 10 days, we’ve also been advised to beware: some 100 sanitizers could be killers; some of these masks, — many made outside America — filter in dead air; and bandanas and the like, are not very helpful at all. And being safely socially distant may not mean so much if “social” is attached.
Last March, one of our street smart readers, Angela Bennett, wrote: why isn’t anyone talking about the immune system. She said, “Nobody’s telling that story.” Specifically, what can Black and Brown, those affected by COVID most, it has been reported, can do … and are doing at home.