More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, all of us have one question: When can our lives return to normal? Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, says it will take time and depend on several variables. One is getting as many vaccine doses into arms as possible; another is worldwide collaboration on that front. Read on for more from Fauci—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
Dr. Fauci Says Getting Back to Normal Will Be a “Two-Step Process”
In response to a question from NPR’s Terry Gross on “when we’re going to be able to live our lives again,” Fauci said, “It’s going to be a two-major-step process. One is within our own country. The other is globally. In our own country, if we get the overwhelming majority of people—I would say 70 to 85%—of the people vaccinated, that we could get this down to the point where the level of infection is so low, that it is not a threat of any consequences to most people, you could start to approach some degree of normality, the things that we were able to do before this happened to us.”
Fauci has previously predicted that this timeframe could be sometime this fall.
We “Have to Address the Entire Planet,” Says Dr. Fauci
But, Fauci warned in the NPR interview, U.S. compliance is not enough. “If you’re talking about the long game of that being durable, you have to address the entire planet,” he said. “Namely, you’ve got to be able to get with the help of the developed world, the entire world, vaccinated—what we did with smallpox, what we did with polio and what we did with measles.
“Because as long as we neglect the rest of the world—when I say we, I mean, not only the United States but the developed nations that are rich enough to make a difference—as long as we allow this infection to exist to any degree in any part of the world, it will always be a threat.”
Advised Fauci: “We’ve got to approach this the way we approached smallpox, the way we approached polio and the way we approached measles and other devastating global outbreaks.”
As of Feb. 5, 35 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered, according to the CDC. The two companies that make the two-dose COVID-19 vaccines currently being distributed, Moderna and Pfizer, say they will deliver 220 million more doses by the end of March.
On Thursday, Johnson & Johnson announced it would apply for emergency use authorization of its vaccine, which only requires one dose and may be approved by the end of this month.
How to Survive This Pandemic
As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.