Studies have shown that the coronavirus is more likely to spread between people indoors. With the weather beginning to turn, it's going to be more difficult to dine and congregate outdoors — and with many heading inside, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, warns that Americans need to be more vigilant than ever against the spread COVID-19.
During an appearance at a Harvard Medical Panel on Thursday, Fauci warned that Americans will need to "hunker down" during what will be a "difficult" fall and winter if the country wants to avoid another spike in COVID-19 cases.
"I just think we need to hunker down and get through this fall and winter," Fauci said. "Because it's not going to be easy. We know every time we restrict, we lift restrictions we get a blip. I mean, it's getting whack-a-mole."
Fauci added that he's not looking forward to the coming months, adding that it's "quite frankly depressing." But he said that it's essential for Americans to keep their guards up.
"Don't ever, ever underestimate the potential of the pandemic. And don't try and look at the rosy side of things," Fauci said.
During Thursday's panel, Fauci and the event's host, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, described five steps Americans could take over next month and half that would significantly reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- Wear a mask
- Keep social distance
- Avoid large gatherings
- Consistent handwashing
- A shutdown of bars and similar businesses — while allowing outdoor seating
"As long as you have any member of society and demographic group that's not trying to get to the end game of suppressing this, it will continue to smolder and smolder and smolder."
Despite the concerns about a winter spike, Fauci says he doesn't believe that the U.S. will need to go into another shutdown, adding that the country would need to pull together to keep transmission levels down.
"I am cautiously optimistic. I do have an abiding faith in the American spirit," Fauci said.