Here's why Dr. Fauci isn't making Thanksgiving plans

Someday, we're all going to remember 2020 as the year we really learned to count our blessings and recognize what was important, because so much of what we took for granted was taken away by the coronavirus. Birthday celebrations. Family gatherings. Summer vacations. Visits to friends and family. And that's if we were lucky, and no one in our circle came down with coronavirus — because if they did, we would have had to go through so much more.

But if we had hoped that the Thanksgiving holidays would provide the break we need that could see us through to the end of the year, the country's infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, is recommending that we reconsider those plans. He tells CBS News that: "Given the fluid and dynamic nature of what's going on right now in the spread and the uptick of infections, I think people should be very careful and prudent about social gatherings, particularly when members of the family might be at a risk because of their age or their underlying condition." He adds, "You may have to bite the bullet and sacrifice that social gathering, unless you're pretty certain that the people that you're dealing with are not infected."

Thanksgiving is off for the Fauci family

Before you think Dr. Fauci is laying out a "do as I say, not as I do" scenario, he and his family have already decided what Thanksgiving will look like this year for the Fauci household. His three children, who are in three different states, are passing up the opportunity to see their parents since they are considered at a higher risk. "They themselves, because of their concern for me and my age, have decided they're not going to come home for Thanksgiving — even though all three of them want very much to come home for Thanksgiving," he says (via CBS News).

Dr. Fauci has been doing the rounds of late, speaking to different media outlets — possibly trying to convince us that we haven't yet turned the corner in the fight against COVID-19. Experts would like to see less than three percent of all tests return positive, and Dr. Fauci notes under one percent is ideal, according to USA Today. And Dr. Fauci adds, "We're starting to see a number of states well above that, which is often, and in fact invariably, highly predictive of a resurgence of cases." Unfortunately, the increase of positive cases, "we know leads to an increase in hospitalizations and then ultimately an increase in deaths."

Dr. Fauci says we still need to be vigilant when it comes to COVID-19

Public health officials, including Dr. Fauci, had hoped that by the time cooler weather had made a comeback. "We had rather good control over infection dynamics in the country. As a matter of fact, unfortunately, that's not the case," the infectious disease expert says. (via USA Today). The U.S. is experiencing between 40,000 and 50,000 a day. The New York Times reports that as a country, we're seeing an increase of 23 percent from the average set two weeks earlier, and that we're approaching eight million positive cases, and 217,000 deaths as of October 15.

Dr. Fauci doesn't know when a safe vaccine will be available, but by his best estimate, it could be April 2021 if the vaccine trials — two major ones of which are currently on hold — work out. He's also not recommending that we take the same approach to COVID-19 that President Donald Trump has. "That's sort of like saying someone was speeding in a car at 95 miles an hour and didn't get in an accident, so I can go ahead and speed and not get in an accident. There's a great deal of variability," he says. "We're very, very pleased that the president did so well when he was infected with the coronavirus, but there are also a lot of people who are his age and his weight which did not do as well as the president did. The president was fortunate" (via CBS News).