This Is How Dr. Fauci Says We Can Push a "Reset Button" on Coronavirus
Following a few simple health guidelines "for a few weeks in a row" should help get numbers down, he says.
With coronavirus cases spiking at increasing rates throughout many parts of the U.S., local officials are scrambling to combat the spread of the disease. But many medical experts say that all hope is not lost, including Anthony Fauci, MD, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). In an interview with The Atlantic, Fauci said that we can push the "reset button" on coronavirus by following some very straightforward guidelines. In particular, it would mean strictly following five simple rules.
Fauci said these specific health guidelines have been proven to be effective and could help drastically reduce the spread. "By pushing a reset button, I don't mean everybody locking down again," he told The Atlantic. Fauci expressed confidence that by doing the following five things "for a few weeks in a row," he will "guarantee you those numbers will come down." Read on to see what can help get COVID in control. And for more guidance from the NIAID director, check out Dr. Fauci Says This Is Exactly Where the U.S. Went Wrong With COVID.
"Everyone wear a mask."
One of the first things Fauci said all states in trouble should do is mandate masks in public. And he is not alone in calling for more stringent mask mandates to be handed down from officials to get a handle on the virus. On July 14, Robert Redfield, MD, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), expressed the importance of face coverings during a live-stream interview with the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), saying that "if we could get everybody to wear a mask right now, I think in four, six, eight weeks we could bring this epidemic under control." And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Fauci has time and time again named bars as a problem amid the pandemic. "Congregation at a bar inside is bad news," he said in June. "We really got to stop that. Right now." And when the Texas Medical Association's COVID-19 Task Force and Committee on Infectious Diseases asked physicians to rank 37 places and activities on how likely they are to result in COVID transmission, bars came out on top as the riskiest spot.
As the number of states rolling back on their reopenings continues to climb, some officials are already taking Fauci's recommendation and closing bars. On July 13, both California and Louisiana issued new executive orders that closed bars and restaurants, and Texas and Florida did the same at the end of June. And for more on that, check out Texas and Florida Are Taking This Major Step to Get Coronavirus Numbers Down.
"No congregating in crowds."
The more people you're exposed to, the more likely you are to be exposed to COVID, Fauci says. Birthdays, weddings, and other parties have been the cause of multiple coronavirus outbreaks across the country. For example, 18 members of one Texas family got coronavirus after attending a surprise 30th birthday party in May where the host had COVID without symptoms.
A June wedding in India resulted in 100 of the 350 attendees becoming infected after the groom unknowingly spread the virus and died two days later.
And a July 4th house party in Michigan resulted in 48 new coronavirus recently. "This is a very clear example of how quickly this virus spreads and how many people can be impacted in a very short amount of time," Jimena Loveluck, a health officer at Michigan's Washtenaw County Health Department, said in a statement. She urged people to avoid "large gatherings without physical distancing or face coverings." And for more outbreaks to be aware of, check out These Things You May Think Are Harmless Are Spawning Awful COVID Outbreaks.
"Keep your distance."
Social distancing is a key factor in keeping COVID numbers down, Fauci says. The CDC defines an individual who has had close contact with a COVID patient as someone who was less than six feet away from the patient for more than 15 minutes. So to be safe, you should be limiting the length of time of your interactions and not getting too close to anyone, either. And for more advice like this, check out 50 Essential COVID Safety Tips the CDC Wants You to Know.
"Protect the vulnerable."
Those most vulnerable to COVID-19 are those who are over the age of 65, who have a BMI over 30, or who have preexisting conditions like kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, sickle cell disease, or type 2 diabetes, the CDC notes. Seeing as these people are at an increased risk of dying from the coronavirus, it's important that they and those around them stay safe. "Inadvertently or innocently, [young people] could infect someone and then all of sudden, someone's grandmother or grandfather or aunt who's getting chemotherapy for breast cancer gets infected," Fauci said in early July.