The coronavirus pandemic is as bad as it’s ever been across the country, but it’s going to get even worse, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a briefing on Monday.
“The middle of January could be a really dark time for us,” Fauci said during Cuomo’s regular coronavirus briefing.
Holiday travel and gatherings have amplified the already expected effect of cooler weather driving people indoors more.
“You’d expect that the effect of the Thanksgiving surge would be probably another week and week and a half from now, because it’s usually two and a half weeks from the time of the event,” Fauci said. “The problem is, that’s going to come right up to the beginning of the Christmas, Hannukah potential surge.”
There’s a surge upon a surge, Fauci said. And before anyone can even try to cope with that, people will travel over the winter holiday period and there will be more of the gatherings of family and friends that have been fueling the pandemic.
“We could start to see things really get bad in the middle of January,” Fauci predicted.
Fauci also reminded Americans that they can mitigate the spread.
“It’s such a natural thing to think, when I have family and friends over for the holidays, Christmas and Hanukkah, you get indoors you take your mask off because you're eating and drinking. And you don't realize that there may be somebody that you know, that you love, that's a friend, that's a family member, who is perfectly well with no symptoms, and yet they got infected in the community, and brought it into that small gathering that you're now having in your home,” he said.
He urged people to take the same precautions at small family gatherings that they do when they are around strangers: wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance and meet either outdoors in well-ventilated spaces