The nation's MVP M.D. offers holiday season guidance for us all, too.

Karla Walsh
October 14, 2020
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Getty / Win McNamee

From senate panel hearings and coronavirus task force press conferences to the cover of InStyle and a spot-on portrayal by Brad Pitt on SNL, Dr. Anthony Fauci has been the level-headed, mask-donning superhero America needed this year.

So as we approach the holiday season and face the uncertainty of "to gather or not to gather," it's not surprising the medical advisor was asked for his thoughts and medical opinions during a webinar hosted by American University's Kennedy Political Union on Tuesday, October 6.

Dr. Fauci, who lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife Christine Grady, said that he personally was planning a "very, very closed family type of thing." He won't be dining IRL with his three daughters (34-year-old Jennifer, 31-year-old Megan and 28-year-old Alison) this Thanksgiving since they live in other parts of the country with more concerning coronavirus trends, CNBC reports.

"We would love for them to come home for Thanksgiving," admitted 79-year-old Dr. Fauci, but his daughters said, "We want you and mommy to have a nice, quiet dinner."

Fauci and Grady might invite a neighbor they know is negative and will "send our love via Zoom" to their daughters.

As for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), here are their ratings of the various risk levels for Thanksgiving celebrations:

  • Higher: "Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household"

  • Moderate: "Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community"

  • Lower: "Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household" and/or sharing a "virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family"

Dr. Fauci explained that all families are different and should take into account not only who you're gathering with but where you're going (indoors or out, which part of the country). And the CDC seems to agree, noting, "the more cases at your destination, the more likely you are to get infected during travel and spread the virus to others when you return."

If you do decide to hit the road or the skies, the CDC has travel tips to help mitigate risk. For example, drive instead of taking a flight with layovers, and try to make as few pit stops as possible. Or stay at a vacation rental like Airbnb rather than at a hostel or hotel.

If you really want to be safe, Dr. Fauci suggested that you may want to travel, quarantine for "a number of days" or get tested a couple times before you depart. But he admits "that's going to be kind of an inconvenience."

Similar to many circumstances this year, Dr. Fauci didn't want to make a blanket recommendation, but share his personal strategy and some facts to consider.

"I'm not going to criticize people who do it differently, but look at the individual situation in your own family and make a decision that way," he said.

That's some sage advice. Now can we put in a request for Brad Pitt to recreate SNL's comedy version of Dr. Fauci's virtual holiday?! 🙏