There’s an upside to the pandemic you might not have considered: hardly anyone is getting the flu this year. Popular Science notes that in 2019 the US had 65,000 recorded cases of the flu between September and late December, and in 2020 that number dropped to just 1,000.
All of the precautions people are taking to not catch COVID-19– including wearing masks, increased hand-washing, social distancing, and avoiding indoor social activities—are also helping people avoid catching the flu. In addition, more people are getting flu shots than before. Researchers are studying the theory that there’s some type of complex interplay between COVID and the flu, and there is also a fear that the flu will come back stronger next season. The experts note that scary scenario could be avoided if people adapt COVID safety protocols more permanently, or perhaps make more of a point to get their flu shots. The flu typically kills hundreds of thousands of people annually worldwide.