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Dr. Fauci's Unhealthiest Things You Can Do

The nation’s top infectious disease expert offers his list of pandemic don’ts.

What people, activities, actions, and assumptions should be off-limits during the pandemic? As coronavirus cases continue to surge to record-breaking highs, this is the question on many of our minds right now. When in doubt, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, is a great person to rely on for advice. In case you were wondering "What would Dr. Fauci do—or not do?" when it comes to everything from socializing to personal protective measures, we have the answers. Here is everything you should never do, according to Dr. Fauci. And to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.


Go to Bars

According to Dr. Fauci, one of the riskiest things you can do is go drinking at a bar. "Bars: really not good. Really not good," he said during a US Senate committee hearing. "Congregation at a bar, inside, is bad news. We really got to stop that right now."


Leave the House Without a Mask On

smiling glad friendly bearded guy choosing potato chips at grocery store

Dr. Fauci rarely takes his mask off. "It dominates everything I do," he confessed to The Washington Post on July 2. "The only time I don't wear one is when I am alone, when I am home with my wife, or when I am speaking in public — provided there is 6 feet between me and the people to whom I am speaking, as was the case when I answered questions at the recent Congressional hearings."


Assume Your Risk is Zero Due to Your Age

Image of two young beautiful women friends outdoors with bicycles in park.

During an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Dr. Fauci pointed out that even if you are young and otherwise healthy, your risk of serious coronavirus infection "is not zero." He explained, "that's the thing that you've got to get people to appreciate. It isn't zero. There are some clear instances of people who are young and otherwise healthy who went on to get seriously ill. Rarely—and it is rarely—they've even gone on to get seriously ill and die. The risk is not zero." 


Opt for Indoors

Group of friends sitting around a table at house party

Dr. Fauci has repeatedly emphasized that whether you are eating, drinking, exercising, gathering, socializing, etc., if you have a choice, always choose outdoors rather than indoors. "Outdoors is always better than indoors. I mean, there's no doubt about that. Whether it's a stadium or a restaurant or anything. Outdoors is better than indoors," he told The Wall Street Journal


Eat Inside Restaurants

Two young women at a lunch in a restaurant

If you want to really keep the virus at bay, you should avoid dining at restaurants altogether. "We don't do anything inside. I don't eat in restaurants. We do get takeout," Fauci told The Washington Post


Travel on an Airplane

A young woman wearing face mask is traveling on airplane , New normal travel after covid-19 pandemic

Dr. Fauci has confessed he won't be flying the friendly skies anytime soon. "I don't fancy seeing myself getting infected, which is a risk when you're getting on a plane, particularly with the amount of infection that's going on right now," he said during a July 27 MarketWatch interview. "I have been on flights where I've been seated near people who were sneezing and coughing, and then three days later, I've got it. So, no chance," he said during his Washington Post interview. 


Or Use Public Transportation Unless You Have To

sinesswoman wearing protective mask while traveling by public transportation.

In addition to airplanes, Fauci avoids group transportation altogether. "No Metro, no public transportation. I'm in a high-risk group, and I don't want to play around," he told The Washington Post


Hugs and Handshakes

Two female friends embracing each other at home

It is "going to be a while" before handshakes and hugs are accepted forms of greeting—for Dr. Fauci, at least. He revealed to The Washington Post that he is avoiding those types of contact. "The infection rate will have to be extremely low or nonexistent, or we have to have a vaccine. Right now, I don't even think about doing it."


Attend Large Gatherings of People

A grandfather having a conversation with his grandson at a party

If you see a large gathering of people, run the other way warns Dr. Fauci. "Look at some of the film clips that you've seen of people congregating often without masks, of being in crowds and … not paying attention to the guidelines that we very carefully put out," he said. "We're going to continue to be in a lot of trouble, and there's going to be a lot of hurt if that does not stop." 


Work Out at a Gym

Fitness girl lifting dumbbell in the morning.

"I wouldn't go to a gym," Fauci told The Washington Post on July 3. "I need to be so careful. I don't want to take a chance." Instead, he exercises outdoors. A former runner, he now power-walks at least three-and-a-half miles per day, he told MarketWatch.


Invite People Into Your Home

Two men meeting at a coffee shop

Dr. Fauci urges the importance of limiting the number of people in your home. "The only person who comes into the house besides (my wife) Christine and me is the woman who cleans the house once every two weeks," he told The Washington Post. "She wears a mask and gloves at all times while in the house." If he does entertain, he has very strict rules that he follows. "On the rare occasion when we have people over, we have them out on the deck, six feet apart, and we never have more than two people, and they are people who themselves are locked in. We wear masks, unless we are eating. We don't share anything. There are no common bowls. Each person has his or her own receptacle. Some people even bring their own glasses. We always do takeout and I tell the takeout people that I want the food in four separate plastic containers, so no one has to touch anyone else's food. Everyone's food is self-contained. Also, we always stay outside. We don't do anything inside. If it's too hot, or rainy, we cancel it," he said. 


Attend a Protest


Even if you feel outraged, Dr. Fauci points out that large crowds of people should always be avoided. "My daughters feel very strongly about social injustice, but would not likely want to do that. They are very careful with their health. They stay away from crowds," Fauci told The Washington Post


Make 'Routine' Trips to the Doctor or Dentist

elderly man sitting at the doctor's office in a hospital with respirator and using his smart phone

An emergency is an emergency, but if you can avoid a routine drip to your doctor and dentist, you should. Fauci admitted to the Post that he hasn't seen his doctor since the beginning of the pandemic. 


Forget to Wash Your Hands

Man washing hands.

During an interview with The Wall Street Journal podcast in April, Fauci urged the importance of "compulsive hand-washing," even saying it should continue long after the pandemic is over. 


Assume Family Members are Infection-Free

Grandparents Relaxing On Sofa At Home With Granddaughters

Whether it is your child, best friend, or coworker, you can't assume that those close to you are virus free. Even when his own daughter came to visit from out of state, Dr. Fauci followed quarantine protocol. "When she got here she went straight through the back entrance into the basement. She stayed in our basement, which has a room with a bed, a shower, electricity, and she did not come upstairs for 14 days. My wife brought food down to her on paper dishes. She lives in a very high-risk city, and she wouldn't let us near her," Dr. Fauci told The Washington Post. "I wanted to hug her when she arrived, but she said: 'No way, dad.' She came upstairs after 14 days, and then stayed with us for several months."


Do As Fauci Does

Women hands holding hand sanitizer with alcohol spray and surgical mask.

Mask up, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more about Leah