It’s so tempting to think that, with coronavirus vaccines being distributed and cases dropping, we’re out of the woods of the pandemic. Not true, says Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “The best way to…prevent any serious consequences is to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as you possibly can,” said Dr. Fauci. “And to double down on the public health measures: masking, [social] distance, avoiding congregate settings, if you put that together with the vaccine, we can be able to confront this variant as it were and prevent it from taking over.” Read on to see the places that still aren’t safe even if you’re allowed to go there—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
Dr. Fauci says now is not the time to be traveling—even if you are vaccinated. You could still be carrying the virus in your nose, including the more transmissible variants, and spread it. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said two words that sum it up: “Don’t travel,” she told JAMA. If you do, you could end up spreading the COVID-19 variants. “I mean, if we learned one thing in this MMWR (that’s the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report) from Minnesota, the experience with the B117 variant, several of them came from California. Their only travel was from California. We really, really would advocate for not traveling right now.”
While Dr. Fauci is a huge fan of ordering takeout, he warns that dining inside of a restaurant is incredibly dangerous. “When you have restaurants indoors in a situation where you have a high degree of infection in the community, you’re not wearing masks, that’s a problem,” Dr. Fauci explained in a September interview.
“Avoid bars,” Fauci has said countless times. One survey of epidemiologists found bars to be as dangerous as jails. “Bars have become notorious as sources of COVID spread. They are almost always indoors. People are there for prolonged periods of time, very close together, they’re unmasked because they’re drinking and talking. And that’s the sine qua non for spread of a respiratory virus,” said the Professor of Preventive Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
“Avoid congregate settings,” Fauci has said many, many times, and avoid gatherings too. “A gathering refers to a planned or spontaneous event, indoors or outdoors, with a small number of people participating or a large number of people in attendance such as a community event or gathering, concert, festival, conference, parade, wedding, or sporting event,” says the CDC.
Follow Fauci’s fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don’t travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don’t go indoors with people you’re not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.