Dr. Fauci Says to Limit Your Holiday Celebrations to This Many People
The nation's top infectious disease expert warns that this year's festivities should be restrained.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed almost everything about the past year, and that means our first holiday season with COVID-19 will look different as well. Over Thanksgiving, health officials advised Americans to avoid traveling and to hold off on gathering indoors with anyone outside of their household as cases surged to unprecedented levels. Unfortunately, experts are warning that the worst days may be ahead of us, and that we'll need to restrict ourselves even further come Christmas and Hanukkah. Anthony Fauci, MD, is now saying that holiday celebrations should have a limit of 10 people at the very most. Read on to see what this could mean for your festivities, and for more warnings from Fauci, check out Dr. Fauci Says This One Thing Could Spread COVID More Than Anything Yet.
During an appearance via video at New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's daily coronavirus press conference on Dec. 7, Fauci was asked to weigh in on the state's recent restrictions that limit all indoor private gatherings to 10 people or less. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director responded by not only agreeing with the emergency measure, but by adding a critique that "10 may even be a bit too much."
"It's not only the number," he added. "It's the people who might be coming in from out of town." Fauci clarified: "You want to make sure you don't have people who just got off a plane or a train. That's even more risky than the absolute number. You get indoors, you take your mask off because you're eating and drinking, and you don't realize that there may be somebody that you know, that you love, who is perfectly well with no symptoms and yet, they got infected [unknowingly]."
Fauci also took the opportunity to reiterate that we haven't fully felt the effects of the expected Thanksgiving surge yet, which presents a dangerous situation heading into the holidays and the beginning of next year. "We could start to see things start to get really bad in the middle of January, not only for New York state but for any state or city," he predicted, adding that it could be "a really dark time for us."
In addition to holiday gatherings, the nation's top infectious disease expert has warned there are other high-risk situations that could pose a problem as we await vaccine distribution. Read on to find out which places you should avoid, and for more on how the virus is spreading where you live, find out How Bad the COVID Outbreak Is in Your State.
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In a recent interview with The New York Times, Fauci said there are some things he just wouldn't do right now. While speaking with Elisabeth Rosenthal, editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News, in late November, he warned that public transportation was potentially dangerous. He advised "if you are someone who is in the highest risk category, as best as possible, don't travel anywhere. The safest way to travel is by foot, by car, or by bike… any way you won't be in close quarters with people you don't live with. If you go someplace, you have a car, you're in your car by yourself, not getting on a crowded subway, not getting on a crowded bus," he added. And for more on where Fauci says is dangerous, check out Dr. Fauci Says These 2 Places Need to Close Right Now.
Fauci has repeatedly warned that watering holes can be one of the worst offenders when it comes to community spread of coronavirus. "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," he told The Times. "When you're at a bar, people are leaning over your shoulder to get a drink… It's kind of fun because it's social, but it's not fun when this virus is in the air." He added that "if there's anything you want to clamp down on for the time being, it's bars." And for more risky places to avoid, check out Almost All COVID Transmission Is Happening in These 5 Places, Doctor Says.
Even before the CDC's warning not to travel for Thanksgiving, 79-year-old Fauci had previously stated that specifically high-risk people like himself should avoid getting on an airplane altogether. And for more up-to-date information on the pandemic, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Because eating makes it impossible to wear a face mask, Fauci has also long warned against the dangers of indoor dining. "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. And particularly if it was at full capacity," he told The Times. And for more behavior to avoid, check out This Is Where You're Most Likely to Get COVID Right Now, White House Says.