Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has become America’s doctor during this tumultuous coronavirus pandemic, says he will be celebrating his upcoming 80th birthday and Christmas holiday without his three adult daughters or other extended family or friends.
“I'm going to be with my wife — period,” Fauci told the Washington Post’s “Power Up” during an interview this week.
“The Christmas holiday is a special holiday for us because Christmas Eve is my birthday. And Christmas Day is Christmas Day. And they are not going to come home … That's painful. We don't like that.
He said as painful as it is, that’s just something we have to accept during this “unprecedented challenging time.”
He reminded Americans we cannot treat this like “business as usual this Christmas” because we could “make it worse if we don’t do something about it.”
America has seen record-breaking surges in coronavirus infections and deaths following the Thanksgiving holiday, when millions traveled and gathered with people outside their household.
“We have a big problem,” Fauci told the Washington Post. “Look at the numbers - the numbers are really quite dramatic.”
The CDC urged people to stay home for Thanksgiving to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and they have repeated their pleas for the December holiday season.
“Celebrating virtually or with members of your own household (who are consistently taking measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19) poses the lowest risk for spread,” the CDC states in their holiday guidelines.
But telling loved ones you won’t be coming for dinner, or that party, or that small gathering, can be emotionally and physically difficult.
Fauci says try putting things into perspective.
“Maybe this is a time to just say, 'This is an unusual situation, it's not going to last forever, it is highly likely that with vaccines being distributed, that we will be back to normal by next Christmas,’” he said.
For those who are traveling, Fauci warned that a “negative (test) today doesn’t mean that you’re going to be negative tomorrow,” and that additional measures like isolation, mask-wearing and social distancing need to be practiced.