This Is When We'll Know How Bad the Thanksgiving Surge Is, Fauci Says

The top infectious disease expert has been warning that the holiday will cause a big spike in cases.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made headlines on Nov. 19 when they warned all Americans to avoid traveling to celebrate Thanksgiving this year due to skyrocketing COVID cases. Medical experts have been warning for months that the major holiday would likely be responsible for a spike in coronavirus infections, and with record numbers of travelers reported at airports across the nation, it's likely that the prediction will come true. According to top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci, MD, we may not need to wait too long to see how bad the Thanksgiving surge of COVID cases will be. In a live interview with The Washington Post on Nov. 23, Fauci predicted that we'll know how severe it is within two to three weeks. Read on to see what else Fauci had to say, and for more of his advice, check out 4 Places Dr. Fauci Says He Wouldn't Go Right Now.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director spoke candidly about the current dire state of the pandemic across the U.S. He warned that if too many people choose not to abide by the basic health guidelines and advisories set by health officials such as social distancing and wearing face masks, a bad situation could be made far worse. "The chances are that you will see a surge superimposed on a surge," Fauci predicted. "Things lag by a couple of weeks, so what we're seeing now is what happened two-plus weeks ago. What we're doing now is going to be reflected two, three weeks from now."

Fauci said we could see the U.S. hit 300,000 deaths or more than that if people do not act responsibly during the holidays. "It is within our power to not let those numbers happen," Fauci added. "You don't have to accept those numbers as being inevitable. There are things you can do about it."

Read on to see what those are, and for more on how much the pandemic is affecting your area, check out This Is How Bad the COVID Outbreak Is in Your State.

Read the original article on Best Life.

Cut back your guest list.

Black family members celebrating Thanksgiving

Echoing the guidelines released by the CDC last week, Fauci urged Americans to resist the urge to travel and to cut back their Thanksgiving celebration to only include members of their own household this year.

"Try as best as you can to keep congregate meetings indoors—as innocent and wonderful as they sound—to a minimal number of people, preferably just members of a household," Fauci said. "I know this is a difficult thing to do, but we're in a very difficult situation." And for more advice on keeping the virus at bay, know that If You're Doing This, You Won't Be Totally Safe From COVID on Thanksgiving.

Don't let "pandemic fatigue" put you at risk.

coronavirus outbreak - woman wash hands with surgical mask .

Fauci also took the opportunity to address how with numbers currently above the previous peaks set over the spring and summer, it is now more important than ever to follow basic health guidelines. He implored everyone to wash or sanitize their hands regularly, wear a face mask whenever in public, avoid large crowds, and keep six feet of distance between themselves and others when out of the house. "If you did those simple things, you would diminish considerably the likelihood that you would get infected," Fauci said. And for more on your PPE, read up on why If Your Face Mask Has One of These, Stop Using It Immediately.

Have your Thanksgiving dinner outdoors.

Fresh dinner with potatoes and turkey served outdoors
Shaiith / Shutterstock

Fauci said that if you're going to have people over for dinner, which he doesn't advise, it's best to dine al fresco. "I know this can be difficult given the constraints with the weather that we have," he admitted. And for more regular updates on the pandemic, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Don't go anywhere if you have symptoms.

Elderly african man suffering from neck pain at home on couch.

Even if you only notice a slight scratch in your throat or are feeling a little sleepy, it's best to stay home, Fauci explains. "The early symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to a flu-like syndrome," he said, citing fever, sore throat, congestion, muscle aches, fatigue, and loss of smell and taste as the most common. "If any of those symptoms appear, people should be careful… and stay home." And for more on these early symptoms, check out If You Can't Smell These 2 Things, You May Have COVID.

Best Life is constantly monitoring the latest news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed. Here are the answers to your most burning questions, the ways you can stay safe and healthy, the facts you need to know, the risks you should avoid, the myths you need to ignore,and the symptoms to be aware of. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.
Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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