Dr. Fauci Just Said We'll Never Be Able to Do This Again
The world won't be the same once the coronavirus pandemic is over.
In the early days of the COVID pandemic, the term "the new normal" became a popular way to describe the sudden shift to living in lockdown, securing a mask to your face to leave the house, and scrubbing your hands constantly. People hoped that one day we'd leave this new normal behind to return to the normal we once knew—living life without any regard for coronavirus. While that may have seemed realistic at one point, White House COVID adviser Anthony Fauci, MD, now has a different expectation for what "normal" will look like. Keep reading to see what Fauci thinks about the post-pandemic future, and for more speculation on the next years of our lives, The Moderna CEO Just Made This Scary Prediction About COVID.
We'll never be able to ignore the threat of COVID.
During an interview with The Hill on Jan. 27, Fauci made it clear that we'd never be able to take our minds off COVID entirely. "If normal means not paying attention to anything, we're never going to go to that normal," he said. "To me, that would be abnormal, because from now on, we've got to constantly be vigilant."
Society won't be able to disregard COVID completely, in large part because the virus will remain a threat. And it's one that researchers and doctors will have to be keenly aware of. "That to me is the new normal—constant vigilance," Fauci added. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Experts need to be monitoring the virus for mutations.
Fauci pointed out that the virus continues to evolve, which could require an adjustment to treatments and vaccines. "We have to be prepared that this will be an elusive virus, that we would have to make some modifications in our interventions, whatever they may be," he said. Fauci cited the potential for an upgraded vaccine or different monoclonal antibody treatments down the line.
In the year since we first began seeing this coronavirus, it has mutated many times. Some mutations have been benign, while others have proven to be more challenging to contain. Recent research concluded that the vaccine is somewhat less effective against the South Africa strain of COVID. In response, experts began working on an additional booster dose that would close the gap in protection. Adjustments like this one may be necessary for years to come as the virus continues to evolve. And for more on the future of the pandemic, COVID Researchers Just Issued Their Bleakest 2021 Prediction Yet.
However, there is hope for a return to some degree of normalcy.
Fauci's words of warning weren't all gloomy—he also assured listeners that there was hope. "There is light at the end of the tunnel," Fauci said. "We will begin to approach some degree of normality as we get into the late fall of this year, as we get into the winter."
At the same time, the infectious disease expert was careful to temper his optimistic words with another dose of reality. "We've got to keep our eye on it and our pressure on it. Otherwise, it could slip away from us," he added. And for a memorable moment from the past year, Dr. Fauci Said Hearing These 5 Words About COVID Made Him Cry.
Experts predict COVID will become an endemic disease.
CNBC reported that during a panel discussion at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference on Jan. 13, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel shared his predictions on the future of COVID. "SARS-CoV-2 is not going away," Bancel said. "We are going to live with this virus, we think, forever." The formal word for this is "endemic," which means the virus is ever-present, circulating at low levels at all times but only occasionally causing severe illness. And for more coronavirus news, This Over-the-Counter Medication Can Kill COVID, Study Says.