When Americans go back to their daily routines, there is one custom that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House's leading infectious disease expert, hopes disappears altogether.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Dr. Fauci said that, ideally, Americans would stop shaking hands with each other.
“I don’t think we should ever shake hands, ever again, to be honest with you. Not only would it be good to prevent coronavirus disease, it probably would decrease instances of influenza dramatically in this country,” Dr. Fauci said.
While it is unknown exactly how many cases of COVID-19 could have been avoided by not shaking hands, Dr. Fauci said handshakes are a very common way for infectious diseases to spread.
Even in the interim, Dr. Fauci also suggested this week during a White House coronavirus task force briefing that getting back to the way life was before the spread of COVID-19 might not happen until a vaccine is ready.
“If back to normal means acting like there never was a coronavirus problem, I don’t think that is going to happen until we have a situation where you can completely protect the population,” Dr. Fauci said.
“But when we say getting back to normal, we mean something very different from what we’re going through right now,” Dr. Fauci added. “'Cause right now, we’re in very intense mitigation. When we get back to normal, we will go back gradually to the point where we can function as a society.”