Return To Normal Life A Ways Off, Dr. Fauci Says

( The country is hoping to return to a normal way of life soon, but Dr. Anthony Fauci said that could be a year away.

Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, said people need to alter their expectations for summer activities and travel, otherwise they could be adding fuel to the fire and causing more explosions in the coronavirus outbreak.

As states have loosened restrictions over the last month and began to re-open their economies, confirmed cases of coronavirus have begun to spike. Last week, 18 states reported an increase in confirmed cases, with six of those states reporting a jump of at least 50%.

Some local officials have hit the pause button on their re-opening plans because of a spike, while others have warned that they may need to re-implement restrictions if the spread doesn’t stop soon. As Dr. Jonathan Reiner who works at the George Washington University School of Medicine as a professor, said:

“We’re going to have to face the harsh reality in some states that we may need to shut down again.”

Fauci and others, meanwhile, are considerably concerned about the continued spread of the coronavirus in some states, and believe the rollbacks of restrictions shouldn’t be happening as quickly as they are. As Fauci said:

“It’s going to be really wait and see. My feeling, looking at what’s going on with the infection rate, I think it’s more likely measured in months rather than weeks.”

Infectious disease expert Dr. William Schaffner, of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, agrees:

“COVID’s not taking a summer vacation. It’s actually having new opportunities to spread.”

As people are eager to get back to normal life, the potential for a greater spread of the virus is natural. That will force the country to try to juggle the need to contain the virus with the need to re-open economies and get life back to normal. This is something that many officials and even medical experts have been talking about in recent weeks.

Last week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said:

“We can’t shut down the economy again. I think we’ve learned that if you shut down the economy, you’re going to create more damage. And not just economic damage, but … medical problems and everything else that gets put on hold.”

You’d expect statements like those from someone in charge of the federal economy. But even medical professionals are realizing the challenges that come with re-instituting coronavirus-related restrictions.

As the director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, Dr. Christopher Murray, said:

“Because of quarantine fatigue, because of the economic effects of quarantine, another round of shutdowns might have even larger effects on businesses that may be on the edge of not being able to stay solvent.”

As of Monday morning, there have been 115,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19. At the same time, more than 44 million workers in America have filed for unemployment benefits since the pandemic began in mid-March.