Joe Barbieri ’23
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March of 2019, Dr. Anthony Fauci has been the most popular and trustworthy doctor in America. Serving as the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, Fauci’s recommendations and strategies on COVID-19 safety precautions have helped the country turn the corner in its fight against the virus.
Put simply, Dr. Fauci’s reputation is second to none. Not only has the College of the Holy Cross alumni acted as a key health advisor for seven presidencies, but he has also made significant contributions to HIV/AIDS research, and in 2008 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush. Dr. Fauci’s recent statements on Christmas gatherings have drawn him serious controversy. During an interview with “Face the Nation,” Fauci asserted that it was “too soon to tell” whether or not holiday gatherings should be limited and that “We’ve just got to concentrate on continuing to get those numbers down and not try to jump ahead by weeks or months.”
As the Delta Variant continues to spread rapidly, the United States and other countries of the world must continue to take the proper and necessary measures needed to finally end this pandemic. However, Fauci’s message on Christmas gatherings will ultimately leave many Americans in a state of despair. Fighting this pandemic for almost two years, Americans need a constant source of hope to not only continue the fight against COVID-19 but to be reassured that the precautions they have taken, such as vaccination and mask-wearing, have not been in vain.
In regards to the pandemic, a lot can change in a short amount of time. This summer’s sneak peek to a return to normalcy was cut short by the Delta Variant, as mask mandates and debates on booster shots emerged.
Despite this, there is a lot to be proud of. Scientific research and development into COVID-19 vaccines and treatments is a modern-day miracle, as is the massive vaccination rollout ushered by the federal government.
Just last Friday, the pharmaceutical company Merck announced that its medication for people sick with COVID-19 has reduced hospitalizations and deaths by half. While waiting on approval, the medication is a much-needed glimmer of hope. Along with other people, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Dr. Anthony Fauci and others at the frontline of the battle against COVID-19, as their knowledge and contributions have saved countless lives.
Nevertheless, hope is crucial to us as humans. Without it, there would be no motivation to accomplish anything. Christmas is two and a half months away. While it is “the most wonderful time of the year,” we have more important things to focus on, and as time goes on, it is impossible to accurately depict how the nature of the pandemic will look then. Going forward, Americans must continue to take the necessary precautions in fighting COVID-19, but government officials like Dr. Fauci also have a responsibility to send a constant message of hope and support across the country and to emphasize the hard work and determination Americans have shown in light of the pandemic.