Dr. Fauci Says You Have to "Be on Board" With This to Avoid Lockdown

The U.S. can "get through this without having to revert back to a shutdown," Fauci says.

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With cases continuing to rise in some parts of the country, certain states and big cities are taking serious action to help prevent another major coronavirus outbreak—from travel checkpoints in New York City to an executive order in Michigan demanding police enforce violations of COVID-19 orders. But aside from how you feel about these measures, or whether they will be effective at curbing the spread of coronavirus, there are few things that you can do personally that have been proven to have a powerful impact. In fact, in a new interview, Anthony Fauci, MD, says if we all adhere to a few basic public health measures, the U.S. can avoid another lockdown.

"There seems to be a misperception that either you shut down completely and damage a lot of things—mental health, the economy, all kinds of things, or let it rip and do whatever you want," Fauci said during an appearance on POLITICO's "Pulse Check" podcast on Aug. 5. "There's a stepwise fashion that you can open up the economy successfully." The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director went on to add, "You don't have to lock down again, but everybody has got to be on board for doing these five or six fundamental public health measures."

young man and woman greet and say hello to each other while wearing masks and sitting 6 feet apart
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The measures Fauci is referring to are the basic things you have been—or at least should have been—doing all along: social distancing, wearing masks, practicing good hand hygiene, avoiding large crowds, and other similar safety measures we know to play an integral role in containing the virus. And while his advice may not be anything you haven't heard before, heeding it is as important as ever—especially with more people socializing and attending large parties and events where social distancing becomes impossible.

In becoming more lax in our efforts to adhere to these essential safety measures, our vulnerability to the virus increases at both the state and national level. That's why we're seeing some states backslide into rising case numbers, and are potentially staring down a massive resurgence of COVID-19 throughout the U.S. It doesn't have to happen that way, Fauci says. Everyone just needs to do their part. "I think we can get through this without having to revert back to a shutdown," Fauci said on the podcast. However, he cautioned that "when you have a weak link, then the whole system is unsuccessful."

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Assuming that you are already doing your part, the key question to address then becomes, how do you get others on board to do the same? "You appeal to the better angels in people to try and explain to them why it's important to do that," Fauci said. "You don't say, 'you stupid idiot, why don't you have a mask on?' Because that's only going to push them away." And for more tips from the country's top coronavirus expert, Dr. Fauci Wants You to Avoid Doing These 9 Things Right Now.

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