On Wednesday, Biden COVID-19 Advisory Board member Dr. Michael Osterholm stated that the first priority for preventing the spread of COVID-19 is social distancing. Osterholm said avoid “crowds” and “large gatherings, whether you wear a mask or not.”
“Clearly, we haven’t had the direction of what could happen and therefore, why we need to take certain actions. And as you and I have talked in previous shows, it’s the combination of pandemic fatigue, people just after eight to nine months feeling like they don’t want to distance from others.” Osterholm said. “They’re ready to go back to restaurants, bars, churches, any number of different locations. And that group which we call pandemic anger, the group that do not believe that this pandemic is real, and they’re not going to follow public health recommendations. And then you mix that all up with indoor air now the fall, winter season upon us, where transmission is so much higher.”
Osterholm later added, “[I]t’s really an important message that we can do multiple things to protect ourselves. First and foremost is just distancing. Don’t be in crowds, don’t be in large gatherings, whether you wear a mask or not. Because masks are very helpful. They can surely reduce the risk, but the bottom-line message is, you want to distance yourself. Then, just as you said, wear a mask. Also, make note that if you are sick, don’t go into the public. If you have symptoms that are similar to what might be COVID, be sure and get tested and then isolate yourself and quarantine away so that you don’t transmit the virus to others.”
Osterholm’s statements come after days of mass gatherings in the streets celebrating the projected election of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.