Dr. Anthony Fauci Says Americans Should ‘Go Out’ For Memorial Day Weekend

The window of Donohue's Steak House is decorated for Memorial Day during the coronavirus pandemic
Cindy Ord / Getty Images

During CNN’s coronavirus Town Hall on Thursday evening, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that Americans should “go out” and enjoy themselves over Memorial Day weekend.

“Memorial Day, it’s a very important holiday,” Fauci said. “We’ll be having people who want to get out there and get fresh air. You can do that. We’re not telling people to just lock in…”

The infectious diseases expert who has played a crucial role in the White House’s coronavirus task force stressed that Americans should be safe as they enjoy the holiday weekend, but encouraged people to get outside and enjoy nature in any way that makes them happy.

“Go out, wear a mask, stay 6 feet away from anyone so you have the physical distancing, and go out,” Fauci said. “As long as you’re not in a crowd and you’re not in a situation where you can physically transmit the virus, and that’s what a mask is for, and that’s with the physical distance.”

Fauci revealed that he would be following his own advice and getting out for some fun in the sun, over the weekend. He told CNN that he planned to go for walks and even a hike or two, while wearing a mask, of course.

For Americans who have been stuck indoors for almost two months, getting out over the holiday weekend will likely be a needed respite. Many medical experts have said that while the risk of catching novel coronavirus outdoors isn’t zero, it’s much lower than the chances of catching the disease indoors. They’ve also stressed that getting outside is very important to maintaining mental health. Medical experts who agree that outdoor activities are relatively safe have stressed the importance of maintaining social distance and wearing masks.

Some medical experts believe that some activities are safer than others. Activities that involve movement are likely safer because people are passing each other and not interacting for extended periods of time. Sedentary activities like sitting or standing and talking with friends may pose more of a risk because of the extended interaction involved.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there’s even more good news for Americans who want to hit the beach or the pool this Memorial Day weekend. There’s no evidence that novel coronavirus can spread in the water, so swimming is a relatively safe outdoor activity. However, the CDC warned that social distancing is hard to maintain at beaches and pools. They advised that people headed out to swim find less crowded facilities and wear masks until they get in the water.

So, going for a run, a bike ride, a walk, or even a swim is a great — and relatively safe — way to spend Memorial Day weekend.