nytimes – Opinion | When Will We Throw Our Masks Away? I Asked Dr. Fauci

People often think of shutdowns as binary. You’re open or you’re shut. Often, when you answer questions about how to live, you start with. ‘Well, I’m in a high risk group….” So I would love to hear Dr. Fauci’s hierarchy of “Safe and important to keep open with precautions” and “Things that aren’t safe under any circumstances.”

The reason I answer with some degree of trepidation is because the people who are the proprietors of these businesses start getting very, very upset with me. There are some essential businesses that you want to keep open. You want to keep grocery stores open, supermarkets open, things that people need for their subsistence. You might, if it’s done properly, keep open some nonessential businesses, you know, things like clothing stores, department stores.

We’re heading into the winter months. You could social distance in a restaurant or in an indoor gathering. But would you feel OK being in there without a mask?

If we’re in the hot zone the way we are now, where there’s so many infections around, I would feel quite uncomfortable even being in a restaurant. And particularly if it was at full capacity.

I see you’ve been getting your hair cut. What do you think about hair salons?

I mean, again, it depends. I used to get a haircut every five weeks. I get a haircut every 12 weeks now. With a mask on me as well as a mask on the person who’s cutting the hair, for sure.

Transportation? Trains? Planes? Metro? Where are we at the moment?

It depends on your individual circumstances. If you are someone who is in the highest risk category, as best as possible, don’t travel anywhere. Or if you go someplace, you have a car, you’re in your car by yourself, not getting on a crowded subway, not getting on a crowded bus, or even flying in an airplane. If you’re a 25-year-old who has no underlying conditions, that’s much different.

Bars?

Bars are really problematic. I have to tell you, if you look at some of the outbreaks that we’ve seen, it’s when people go into bars, crowded bars. You know, I used to go to a bar. I used to like to sit at a bar and grab a hamburger and a beer. But when you’re at a bar, people are leaning over your shoulder to get a drink, people next to each other like this. It’s kind of fun because it’s social, but it’s not fun when this virus is in the air. So I would think that if there’s anything you want to clamp down on for the time being, it’s bars.

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