Dr. Anthony Fauci recently joined actor Jennifer Garner for a conversation on facing the coronavirus pandemic, current and future best safety practices, long-term ramifications, and more. During the Instagram Live interview (below), the Emmy nominee asked when we might be able to attend live performances as we did prior to the mass shutdowns.
Dr. Fauci's answer, while optimistic about an eventual return, indicated it could be more than a year away. “I think it’s going to be a combination of a vaccine that has been around for almost a year and good public health measures,” he said. The rollout of a vaccine—which would take place only after multiple levels of testing and approval.
Once that happens, it would still take time before the vaccine is distributed to most Americans. As Fauci explains, the rollout is four-tiered, beginning with frontline and healthcare workers, then people with underlying conditions, essential members of society, and then finally, everyone else.
“I would think by the time we get to the end of 2021, maybe even the middle of 2021,” he says, “if we get a vaccine that’s a knockout vaccine that’s 85 to 90 percent effective—I don’t think we’ll get that, I’ll settle for 70 percent effective—and just about everyone gets vaccinated, you’ll have a degree of immunity in a general community that I think you could walk into a theatre without a mask and feel like it’s comfortable that you’re not going to be at risk.”
Currently, Broadway shows are closed until at least January, with no official return date set in stone. As theatres remain dark, the Broadway League has assembled dozens of task forces to navigate the shutdown and eventual reopening. On the other side of the pond, some productions—including the musical Six—have announced a return, but not without strict social distancing protocols. The only Broadway musical slated to return to the stage this year is Diana, albeit without an audience; the show will be filmed this fall for eventual release on Netflix.