Remember the Super Bowl in 2020? We had parties. We cheered for our favorite team. We ate Super Bowl snacks with our friends. Things are different in 2021.

Yes, 2020 is over but the pandemic is not. Even though some people have been vaccinated, it is not enough, and Dr. Fauci is here to remind us that parties are still a bad idea. That doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy watching the Super Bowl, but just like pretty much everything else within the past year, it’s going to be different than usual.

Dr. Fauci told Savannah Guthrie on TODAY, “Enjoy the game, watch it on television, but do it with the immediate members of your family, the people in your household. As much fun as it is to get together in a big Super Bowl party, now is not the time to do that. Watch the game and enjoy it, but do it with your family or with people that are in your household.”

So, make the Super Bowl snacks, but only make them for your immediate family. Watch the game, but watch it at home. Dr. Fauci worries that if Americans gather for big Super Bowl parties there will be another spike in COVID-19 cases. He explained, “Every time we do have something like this, there always is a spike, be it a holiday, Christmas, New Year’s, Thanksgiving. As you mentioned, Super Bowl is a big deal in the United States.”

Dr. Fauci added that the mutant strains of the coronavirus that were first observed in the U.K. and South Africa could become the dominant strains in the United States. That’s another reason he wants Americans to be especially careful and to avoid gathering with people outside of their immediate household.

Even if the new mutant strains do become dominant, that doesn’t mean that you should wait to get vaccinated; however, Dr. Fauci mentioned that the vaccine may eventually be upgraded. “If they do become dominant, we may need to upgrade the vaccine. That’s exactly the direction we’re going right now.”

There are currently two COVID-19 vaccines approved by the FDA, and Dr. Fauci is optimistic that a third vaccine will be approved in the near future. He told Guthrie that the vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson is currently being reviewed by the FDA. He added, “We could see literally within a week or so that they wind up getting the kind of emergency use authorization. I don’t want to get ahead of the FDA, but I would not be surprised if this happens within the next week or two.”

Do you usually go to a Super Bowl party? How are you planning to watch the Super Bowl this year? Which team do you think will win?