A less-frosty winter may be a bright spot in 2020, but medical experts are warning Americans that they should brace for what will likely be a "difficult" fall and winter season when it comes to public health.
Last month, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), spoke at a webinar for Journal of the American Medical Association, or JAMA, and warned, "I do think the fall and the winter of 2020 and 2021 are going to be probably one of the most difficult times we've experienced in American public health because of … the co-occurrence of COVID and influenza.”
“Keeping the health care system from being overstretched, I think, is really going to be important," he added. "And the degree that we're able to do that, I think, will define how well we get through the fall and winter."
While Americans may not need to bundle up as much in the coming months, Redfield does suggest one accessory be worn in public: face masks. He stated that face coverings are the best tactic to help curb the spread of COVID-19 and reduce its public health severity.
“We are not defenseless against this virus. We actually have one of the most powerful weapons you could ask for — the most powerful weapon we have that I know of is wearing face coverings,” he said at a press conference. “The most important thing that I could ask the American public to do is to fully embrace face coverings, to fully embrace careful hand hygiene, and to fully embrace social distancing.”
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