Anthony Fauci said it is “conceivable” that people might decide to wear masks seasonally to diminish the possibility of either spreading or catching respiratory-borne viruses.

Weve had practically a nonexistent flu season this year merely because people were doing the kinds of public health things that were directed predominantly against covid-19, Fauci said.
Fauci added that it is conceivable that during seasonal periods where respiratory-borne viruses such as the flu are prevalent, people might decide in the next year or twoto wear masks to diminish the possibility of either spreading or catching these diseases.
Common viruses such as influenza have virtually disappeared this year, partly because of coronavirus restrictions like face masks. And a sharp decline in flu infections during this years season has led to only one registered pediatric death, compared with dozens in past years, official data shows.
Faucis remarks come about two weeks after federal health officials said fully vaccinated people can go without masks outdoors when walking, jogging, biking or dining at outdoor restaurants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continued to recommend masking in crowded outdoor settings and venues such as stadiums and concerts where it was difficult to maintain social distance and where many unvaccinated people could be present.
CDC says fully vaccinated Americans can go without masks outdoors, except in crowded settings
The announcement brought a sense of relief to pandemic-weary Americans after more than a year of shutdown measures and mandatory use of masks. But even before the CDCs announcement, states such as Kentucky had begun easing mask use outdoors, while governments in Mississippi and Texas lifted the restriction altogether.
Masks required signs are coming down after Texas, Mississippi lift coronavirus restrictions
Since the beginning of the pandemic, mask mandates have been a source of political contention, with officials either seeking to require face coverings to help stem the spread of the virus or arguing that they violate personal freedom.
Some have even questionedthe science behind it, alluding to misinformation as mask-wearing has proven to be effective in reducing the risk of infection.
Political standoffs sowed confusion about when and where to wear them.
To mask or not to mask? With vaccines and new guidelines, the mask-faithful navigate a weird gray area.
As the nation awaits the end of a pandemic that has killed more than 581,000 people in the United States alone, Biden is now hoping that 70 percent of adults will have at least one coronavirus vaccine shot by the Fourth of July to help inch closer to pre-pandemic normalcy.
Biden sets new vaccine goals as White House grapples with its message
The United States has administered at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine to 58 percent of the nations adult population, according to CDC data. But the pace has slowed over the past few weeks and states have reported a decline in demand, prompting state and federal officials to find incentives for people to get the shot.
That decline in demand for the vaccine has coincided with major cities preparing to fully reopen ahead of summer.
President Biden on May 4 outlined three steps to vaccinate new groups of Americans against the coronavirus. (The Washington Post)
On Sunday, Fauci adjusted that timeline for a return to normalcy in an interview with ABCs This Week, predicting that it could be achieved by Mothers Day of next year. He emphasized that such a timetable would be possible only if an overwhelming proportion of the population gets vaccinated.
I hope that next Mothers Day, were going to see a dramatic difference than what were seeing right now. I believe that we will be about as close to back to normal as we can, Fauci said.