In other words, the vaccine is not just for your own personal benefit, but it will also provide “a blanket of protection over the entire community because the more people that get vaccinated” the fewer infections we will experience. “We can crush this outbreak,” Dr. Fauci said, “the same way vaccinations have crushed small pox, and polio, and measles.”
Dr. Fauci said people have a “societal and community responsibility to be a part of this broad protection.”
Deaths Are Increasing
Dr. Fauci advised viewers not to be fooled by claims that the death rate is going down, therefore the virus is receding. He explained there is a difference between death rate and number of deaths: “If you have many, many millions of infections and still a lot of people die, the rate may still be low. Whereas if you have few infections and the same number of people die, the rate is high.” Dr. Fauci said we’ve been seeing 800 to 2,000 deaths per day, and we don’t have the outbreak under control. “There have been a quarter of a million deaths from COVID-19 in literally nine or ten months. If we don’t stop the spread of this infection, there will be more hospitalizations, more intensive care, more deaths.”
A couple reasons the death rate is going down, even while we break records for the number of people dying have to do with who is getting infected and how we are treating them. The rate of infection is going up, which simply means more people are getting infected. Specifically, more younger people are getting infected, who have a greater chance of recovering from the virus. We are also doing better at taking care of people when they do get infected. Still, Dr. Fauci doesn’t want those positive facts to give people license to let their guard down. He said again, “if we don’t stop this outbreak, we will have an extraordinarily large number of deaths. That’s the reason why vaccines are so important.”
What Is Needed to Contain the Outbreak?
Dr. Fauci said we need to combine the social distancing practices we’ve already been putting into place with the coronavirus vaccine in order to stop the spread of disease. He advocated for the following measures:
Uniform wearing of masks
Avoiding crowds in congregant settings
Keep physical distancing
Doing things outdoors preferentially to indoors
Washing your hands as frequently as you can
How Long Will the Vaccine Protect a Person?
When asked how long the vaccine lasts before people may be at risk of contracting the virus again, Dr. Fauci said the answer is unclear. We don’t know how long the durability of the immunity will be because we haven’t had enough time since the vaccine trial started. However, Dr. Fauci believes it likely won’t be a lifelong durability, but that it will be at least enough “to put the lid on this outbreak.”
How do You Personally Stay Cool, Calm, and Clear?
“I have developed the ability to focus like a laser beam on what my responsibility is to protect the health and the safety of the American people, and indirectly the health and wellness of the rest of the world,” Dr. Fauci said in response to a question about his ability not to get mired in the partisanship that has encumbered so many pandemic relief efforts. “So when you focus on that, you really get a bit of energy.”
The physician also honored his wife by calling her “extraordinary.” Dr. Fauci said his wife, Christine, is an “anchor” in his life and understands and supports him. “When I have [her support] everything else that challenges me seems almost trivial,” he explained. The 79-year-old Dr. Fauci also said that running helps keep his head clear. Although he’s had to run less due to his age, he said going on power walks outside with Christine has been a boon to his mental health.
Dr. Fauci concluded his comments by admonishing those listening to “protect yourselves, your family, and your community” by getting vaccinated.