Fauci: During Flu Season, 'I Think That People Temporarily...Might Start Wearing Masks Again'

By Susan Jones | May 4, 2021 | 10:18am EDT
Dr. Anthony Fauci is director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (Photo by KEVIN DIETSCH/AFP via Getty Images)
Dr. Anthony Fauci is director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (Photo by KEVIN DIETSCH/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - Nothing in his 37 years as an infectious disease specialist compares with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN's Sanjay Gupta in a podcast that aired on May 1.

Fauci said one lingering impact may be the inclination to wear masks during flu season:

But I do think that people are going to be thinking about public health more, in that when there are outbreaks, for example, of influenza, I think that people during a winter season, temporarily -- you don't want to shut down the government -- but might start wearing masks.

One thing we learned is that the public health measures we instituted to keep out COVID-19 essentially wiped out influenza in Australia during their season. We've had, like, 100 times less influenza this year than we had in previous years. It's remarkable how little influenza there has been. I think that's going to be different. I really do.

The other thing I think is going to be different is that people are going to realize that, is it really a good idea for me to get on a plane, to fly to Paris to give a 35-minute lecture and then come back, do all that time, when I gave just as good a lecture on a Zoom with all the technologies we have?

I think you're going to see a lot more of people not going out of their way, knocking themselves out, when they could communicate the way you and I are communicating right now.

Fauci said he thinks we'll get "back to normal," because physical interaction is so much a part of human nature, "that the hugging and the physical contact will come back. I do not think that's going to disappear. I cannot imagine we'll become standoffish," he said.

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