So, it’s been a year today since the first confirmed Covid case in Minnesota. A full year of watching a pandemic unfold in slow motion. And government responses unfold in even slower motion.
It’s been a weird year, that’s for sure. Masks sort of feel… normal. It’s the same as a seatbelt for me; I feel very uncomfortable if I’m not wearing one. And hand sanitizer stations are de rigeur. I also notice any time I touch my face now.
So while Covid cases are huge here in the US (as is the death toll), other infections are way WAY down. I was listening to public radio the other day and they reported that there really hasn’t been a flu season. At all.
Last year, something like 400,000 Americans were hospitalized with complications from getting the flu. This year? 146.
Not 146,000– just 146. Total.
Oh, and this isn’t just in the United States. This is around the world. The flu season has basically been non-existent.
That’s crazy, right? The medical professionals are attributing it to distance learning in schools, social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing, sanitizing, etc. There was also a big push to vaccinate for the flu to help protect folks. All this prophylaxis has really handed the flu it’s ass.
So why the Covid infections still? Well, people are still idiots and Covid is 4 times more infectious than the flu. Plus- no real vaccine until very recently.
I bet if the CDC looks at other data: colds, bronchitis, pneumonia, strep throat, or other infections, I can almost guarantee those are all down too. All the disinfecting and social distancing.
For me personally? I usually have 2-3 colds per year and maybe one bout of step or tonsillitis every other year or so. This year I can’t remember having a single cold. And no other sicknesses to speak of either.
I know everyone wants to “get back to normal”- but I kinda hope the masks and hand sanitizer thing continue. Especially in winter months. And especially during things like plane travel.