Stephen Curry pulled off his best crossover of the season with the help of the United States' leading expert on infectious diseases.
In an Instagram Q&A session, the two-time NBA MVP spoke with Dr. Anthony Fauci about the basics of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on daily life. Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and serves as an adviser to President Donald Trump, connected with Curry on Thursday to answer questions posed by Curry's followers on social media.
Hyped to talk all things COVID-19 with Dr. Fauci of the @NIAIDNews tomorrow. This is a conversation for YOU so submit questions with #SCASKSFAUCI and join at 10am PT tomorrow (Mar 26). Let’s get it! pic.twitter.com/7DC0dty6u6— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) March 25, 2020
The discussion covered a lot of basic but important information about the coronavirus and showed Curry could probably hold his own as an interviewer once he's tired of draining 3-pointers for a living.
Here are a few big takeaways from the conversation between Curry and Fauci.
1. There are key differences between the coronavirus and the flu.
While the coronavirus and influenza are both respiratory illnesses, they shouldn't be conflated just because carriers may exhibit similar symptoms.
"[COVID-19 is] very, very much more transmissible than flu, and more importantly, it's significantly more serious," Fauci said.
Fauci told Curry that COVID-19 is "at least 10 times" more serious than the typical flu.
Dr Fauci to Steph Curry on the differences between coronavirus and the common flu. Fauci says COVID-19 is 10x more serious than influenza. pic.twitter.com/lEmy7Rxa1a— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) March 26, 2020
2. Young, healthy people aren't exempt from serious illness.
The elderly and those with underlying conditions who have tested positive for COVID-19 have a higher degree of mortality, according to Fauci, but that doesn't mean young people should ignore the threat.
"What we are starting to see is that there are some people who are younger, people your age — young, healthy, vigorous — who don't have any underlying conditions who are getting seriously ill," Fauci said. "It's still a very, very small minority, but it doesn't mean that young people like yourself should say, 'I'm completely exempt from any risk of getting seriously ill.'
"And that's the reason why when we talk about being careful, of physical distancing, doing the kind of social separation, it means not only for the elderly, but the young people have to do it, too."
Not only should young people practice social distancing to protect themselves, but also to avoid becoming an unknown carrier of the coronavirus and passing it on to others.
Dr Fauci to Steph Curry on the age group COVID-19 affects:— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) March 26, 2020
“We are starting to see is that people that are younger, people your age... who are getting seriously ill.”
Fauci said that young people are still the minority but they shouldn’t think they’re “exempt” from the virus. pic.twitter.com/qKIWLZ7zEz
3. It's unclear if coronavirus cases will go down in the summer months.
Fauci said viruses tend to do poorly in warm, moist weather, which could lead some to believe COVID-19 cases will drop over the next few months. At this point, though, it's hard to predict how the virus will respond to changes in weather.
"The only issues is, Steph, we don't know whether this is gonna happen with this virus because this is the first time we've ever dealt with this virus," Fauci said. "It's not an unreasonable assumption to think that it's gonna go down, but you don't want to count on it."
Dr Fauci says that viruses tend to not survive in warm weather. However, he tells Steph Curry that it’s still unknown how the coronavirus will react to the warm summer months. pic.twitter.com/jDoUtXIfyK— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) March 26, 2020
4. Consider your symptoms before immediately going to the emergency room.
"If someone right now gets flu-like symptoms — a fever, aches and a bit of a cough — the first thing you do is stay at home," Fauci said. "Don't go to an emergency room because then you might be infecting others. Get on the phone with a physician, a nurse or a healthcare provider. Get instructions from them on what to do.
"If available, you can get a test. The critical issue is don't flood the emergency room."
However, as Fauci notes, those who fall seriously ill should go to the emergency room as soon as possible.
Dr. Fauci tells Steph Curry what you should if you think you have Coronavirus! pic.twitter.com/6W9OqCeQwc— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 26, 2020
5. Flattening the curve will determine when sports can return.
The phrase "flatten the curve" has become part of the daily lexicon. It is the idea of slowing down the upward trajectory of coronavirus cases in order to prevent the healthcare system from becoming overburdened with cases.
When it comes to the NBA and other sports leagues returning to action, flattening the curve will be crucial.
"You need to see the trajectory of the curve start to come down," Fauci said. "We've seen that in China. They went up and down. They're starting to get back to some normal life. They've gotta be careful they don't reintroduce the virus into China. But they're on the other end of the curve. Korea is doing that. They're starting to come back down. Europe, particularly Italy, is in a terrible situation. They're still going way up.
"The United States is a big country. We have so many different regions. New York City right now is having a terrible time, and yet, there are places in the country that are doing really quite well. ... We can start thinking about getting back to some degree of normality when the country as a whole has turned that corner and started coming down."
6. Curry reached thousands of people with his platform — including a former U.S. president.
The Instagram video viewership hovered around 50,000 users and likely reached a younger audience that would not typically watch daily White House briefings.
There were even some celebrity sightings during the broadcast, including pop star Justin Bieber and former U.S. president Barack Obama. Not bad, Steph.
Barack Obama and Justin Bieber were watching and commenting on Steph Curry’s IG live interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci about coronavirus. 2020, oh man. pic.twitter.com/8EyUpQIhd4— Tasneem N (@TasneemN) March 26, 2020