It’s a simple piece of advice right now — don’t stop wearing your mask, according to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who expressed concern on Wednesday.

What’s going on?

Walensky said in an interview with NPR that the next few weeks will be severely important for fighting the novel coronavirus, which the United States and the world has been battling for over a year.

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She said the U.S. might work its way out of the crisis if people can hold on a little longer as more vaccinations are given out.

  • “I think the next two or three months could go in one of two directions,” Walensky told NPR. “If things open up, if we’re not really cautious, we could end up with a post-spring break surge the way we saw a post-Christmas surge. We could see much more disease. We could see much more death.”
  • “In an alternative vision,” Walensky said, “I see we really hunker down for a couple of more months, we get so many people vaccinated and we get to a really great place by summer.”

Context

Walensky’s comments come as states begin to roll back their mask mandates. For example, Texas and Mississippi’s governors recently announced their states would be lifting mask mandates amid the coronavirus pandemic, CNN reports. Experts have warned against this because the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over yet.

Bigger picture

Walensky told CNN earlier this week prior to Texas’ announcement ending its mask mandate that she doesn’t support the idea of rolling back these mandates.

  • “I am really worried about reports that more states are rolling back the exact public health measures we have recommended to protect people from COVID-19,” she said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said lifting restrictions right now is “inexplicable,” according to CNN.