- @stephencurry30 / Instagram
- Dr. Anthony Fauci joined the Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry on Thursday for an Instagram Live Q&A session regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
- Curry asked questions he’d gotten from people about COVID-19, and Fauci described how the US was doing and what steps could help mitigate the coronavirus’ spread.
- Fauci emphasized the need to bring down the trajectory of the country’s epidemic curve before life could get back to normal. He added that thanks to an uptick in testing, the country might be heading in the right direction.
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Stephen Curry spent his Thursday trying to help the public get important information about the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced the NBA season to a halt and put nearly half of the US under lockdown.
During a question-and-answer session on Instagram Live on Thursday, Curry spoke with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Fauci is the nation’s top infectious-disease expert and one of the most trusted voices in the country with regard to the virus.
Curry and Fauci talked about how people could best protect themselves and others, the possibility of a vaccine, and the importance of getting reliable information about the evolving outbreak.
It was a successful use of Curry’s platform, holding steady at roughly 50,000 viewers throughout the broadcast and earning praise from the likes of Justin Bieber and former President Barack Obama.
Here are five key points that Fauci and Curry emphasized in their conversation.
1. COVID-19 shares some similarities with the common flu, but it’s much more transferable and much more dangerous.
The first question Curry asked Fauci was to break down the differences between the flu and COVID-19.
Fauci said that while the two shared some similarities, COVID-19 was more serious because it could spread faster and was more deadly.
While the death rate for the common flu is roughly 0.1%, Fauci said COVID-19’s was at least 10 times that number, which is why drastic action is necessary.
2. Older people face a higher risk of serious coronavirus cases and death, but it’s important for young people to be responsible and adhere to social-distancing rules to keep everyone safe.
Fauci said older people, especially those with underlying health conditions, were more likely to face serious health consequences as a result of the virus. But he stressed that just because young people were less at risk of life-threatening complications, that didn’t mean they’re immune.
Fauci said young people still needed to take their their response to the coronavirus seriously, not only to protect themselves but to help ensure they do not unknowingly spread the disease to a loved one who might be more susceptible to the virus.
“That’s what we’ve got to be careful of,” Fauci said.
3. Life will get back to normal, but before that can happen we need to see the curve of new cases begin to come down.
Curry said one common question he had gotten was when we could all begin to work our way back toward normality.
Fauci said that time period would depend largely on efforts to limit the virus’ spread.
“You need to see the trajectory of the curve start to come down,” Fauci said.
“We can start thinking about getting back to some degree of normality when the country as a whole starts to turn that corner and start coming down,” Fauci said. “Then you can pinpoint cases much more easily, rather than getting overwhelmed by cases, which is happening in New York City.”
4. If you are feeling symptoms but aren’t facing an emergency situation, stay at home and contact your healthcare provider.
Fauci emphasized that if you or someone in your home experiences symptoms of COVID-19, you should not rush to an emergency room unless things are truly dire.
“If someone starts having symptoms, the first thing you do is stay at home,” Fauci said. “Don’t go to an emergency room, because then you might be infecting others. Get on the phone with a nurse, physician, or healthcare provider, get instructions from them what to do, and if available, you can get a test. But the critical issue is don’t flood the emergency rooms. Stay at home. If you’re really seriously ill, you’ve got to go quickly there, but if you just have aches, pains, and a fever, stay where you are and contact your physician.”
5. Don’t panic, but do take the coronavirus seriously.
To close out their conversation, Curry asked Fauci what he saw as the biggest piece of misinformation about the virus and what he’d like the public to understand better.
Fauci said people should stop looking at the coronavirus from either extreme – they shouldn’t panic, but they also shouldn’t dismiss the virus’ threat.
“This dichotomy between people that are frightened to death and people who don’t even believe it, and think it’s something trivial,” Fauci said. “I’d like to get the people in the country to realize that we’re dealing with a serious problem. It’s modified our lives. It’s not convenient to lock yourself in. It’s not convenient for you not to be playing basketball. But we’re going through a period of time now, where we’re going to, as a country, pull together. Don’t get frightened. Don’t get intimidated.”
He added: “I want to get rid of that misconception that there are extremes – either ‘the world is going to end’ or ‘we don’t want to do anything.’ It isn’t that. It’s somewhere in the middle.”