As we embark into the new normal of the United States amid the coronavirus pandemic, there's one lingering question that seems to be more and more far-fetched as the months go by: when will things actually get back to normal? You know, that pre-COVID way of life where your checklist before heading out the door didn’t include a mask, or when you didn’t feel the need to survey the entire room before releasing a single, innocent cough. 

During his appearance on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, suggested that day may not arrive until the end of 2021. While Fauci remains confident that we could have a vaccine by the end of this year or early 2021, his timetable factors in how long it will take to distribute this drug across the country.

"But by the time you mobilize the distribution of the vaccine and get a majority or more of the population vaccinated and protected, that's likely not going to happen until the end of 2021," Fauci said. "If you’re talking about getting back to a degree of normality prior to COVID, it’s going to be well into 2021, towards the end of 2021." 

Fauci didn't address AstraZeneca's decision to pause the University of Oxford vaccine trial after one volunteer developed a spinal issue, however, it appears they have been cleared by an independent safety review committee to continue, according to BBC News. The university said in a statement that since this is a large-scale trial being conducted, they "expected" that "some participants will become unwell."