General Question

Jeruba's avatar

Will all the covid precautions also help reduce colds and flu this season?

Asked by Jeruba (51917points) September 23rd, 2020

Shouldn’t all the precautions we’re taking against the pandemic help keep colds and flu down? It seems to me that anything contagious (and airborne) should be spreading less, and not just covid-19.

How about you? Have you gone longer than usual without catching a cold? Do you know anyone who has one?

This could be an upside, if there is one.

I did get my flu shot today. Don’t forget yours.

I’m also guessing that, like me, most people these days have a horror of catching any kind of respiratory and fever-generating ailment, just because everyone will have to assume the worst until it’s been tested. If we catch an ordinary cold, are we going to end up in a covid ward anyway?

Is the best plan to use everyday cold remedies, and escalate only if they don’t work? Or is that too risky for the folks around us?

Just in case you’ve been sleeping too well at night . . .

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27 Answers

Caravanfan's avatar

Yes, actually it should.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It can’t hurt!

JLeslie's avatar

Absolutely. It already has proven to reduce flu, Asia had a very light flu season and we watch parts of Asia every year to determine how bad our coming flu season will likely be and to determine what flu strains to put in our vaccine.

Edit: I found this WHO report for you.

Pandora's avatar

I had the same thought after I got my flu shot that I never bothered to get in the past. I thought if I caught the flu that it will weaken my immune response if I should get COVID around the same time. Not because I would be careless though, but my hubby has to go out for work-related stuff now and I have a higher chance of getting it from him should he catch either. We are both diligent about wearing masks and washing our hands and keeping our distance.

RocketGuy's avatar

I have not had a cold virus in 9 months due to work from home, masks, etc.

janbb's avatar

Yes I think so. I’ve only had one “bad” cold since living alone for the past 9 years and that was after attending a wedding that my Ex was at with bronchitis! So more isolation and better hygiene should mean less spread.

zenvelo's avatar

We haven’t had any colds in our household since February. My daughter worked all summer at a day camp for 6 – 14 yr olds, and in years past always seems to pick up at least one cold. None this year.

I got my flu shot on Tuesday as part of my annual physical, so no worries for me there. My daughter got hers two weeks ago, and my son is getting his in the next couple days. We plan to stay healthy through the winter.

Strauss's avatar

@Jeruba Just in case you’ve been sleeping too well at night . . .

Thanks! I needed a reason to get even less sleep!~

nightwolf5's avatar

I would certainly think so, if people keep to it, but still get your flu shot like I did.

LuckyGuy's avatar

The Southern Hemisphere already had their flu season and the Covid-19 precautions have madea huge difference.
Here is some data for you: The Economist .

The number of flu cases was reduced to almost nothing.

RocketGuy's avatar

@LuckyGuy – the transmission method for flu is the same as for Covid, so if we reduced the rate of catching Covid, we reduced the rate of catching the flu.

crazyguy's avatar

@Jeruba That is a great question. I am sure we have all wondered about this from time to time as we shelter at home. I cannot even remember the last cold I had. Usually I catch a cold in March-April, but skipped this year.

The website provided by @JLeslie is awesome, and proves fairly conclusively that the FUD being spread by “fake news” about a big outbreak of covid-19 during flu season is probably overblown.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Overblown? I have to wonder how many of those who have died or will succumb in the future to covid underestimated the potential of this disease to kill them. For my money, the fact that it is the fool himself who has Insisted since the outset that “things aren’t so bad” is enough to convince me that I should trust this disease to EXACTLY the extent that I trust the fool himself.

crazyguy's avatar

@stanleybmanly I am certain you did not digest the information on the website that @JLeslie dug up. Be honest now, did you? If you did you would see that the flu has essentially disappeared. Primarily because populations worldwide have been practicing safe practices that were prescribed for covid-19. That being the case, it is kinda hard to see that the covid-19 deaths could climb back up to 3,000 per day. Is that what you see happening?

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy Oh, they could climb. Too many Americans not cooperating. My governor just opened restaurants back to 100% occupancy indoors.

My town just announced they will start indoor activities like zumba at 50% in October, no mask required.

We also are going back to live music and dancing every night outdoors at the 3 town squares here, limit 250 people in the square, again no mask required. Most people will not wear masks, they will opt for distancing, but in crowds with drinkers the distancing doesn’t work well, I’ve seen it over and over. Some of them will definitely be drinking, some not.

Once January hits we start getting big influxes of snowbirds, snowflakes (people who go back and forth randomly between their multiple homes) and tourists. They are coming even with covid out there, I see on my Facebook people looking for houses to rent.

States like TX, AZ, I’m assuming they have snowbird populations too.

Hopefully Disney and Universal stick with their strict rules limiting crowds and wearing masks.

If they get sick here they can bring it back home.

Other countries the citizenry is more obedient. More cautious. I just had a Facebook conversation a few days ago with a 20 something who lives in Oregon and he thinks it should be survival of the fittest in life. I won’t bore you with the whole conversation, but needless to say he is brainwashed and an idiot.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie I think opening up indoor dining at full capacity is stupid. Even though California allows it at 25% capacity, my wife and I would never dream of going.

Are bars open also?

All I can say is we need that vaccine yesterday.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy I would really like to find a clip of DeSantis talking about the phase 3, because I find news reports too often get things not quite right. From what I understand bars can be open 100% also, but cities can reduce it if warranted. Scary!

I think 100% for restaurants is crazy.

I wish our local news would emphasize mask wearing, DeSantis does emphasize it and distancing but won’t put in a mask order for the state, and the news channels don’t talk about it enough. Tourists and residents think it’s a free for all here because of it. I find that very frustrating.

I hope Disney and Universal stay with what they are doing now. I hope our supermarkets stay with requiring masks.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie In California, there is much better compliance with mask-wearing since businesses started enforcing their use. No mask, no service. I have seen people try to go into a restaurant or store without a mask and then turn around and return to their cars to retrieve the mask. However, not many people wear masks outside, which is ok by me. My wife and I always have them hanging loose and slip them on if an unmasked person is walking close by us.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy Here too. When businesses started requiring masks people were more compliant, but people know they won’t be kicked out of a store, except for places like Quest labs and Disney.

Walking around Disney I felt much safer than a store where I live that has people without masks. Probably Disney still has more risk since it’s so many people, I don’t know, but it didn’t feel that way.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie The only time I have been called out for not having a mask on was in the pro shop of my golf club. I went in for a quick question, but since the counter person was talking to somebody else my 30-second question stretched into several minutes. During that time a properly masked member entered and started yelling at me. I realized my mistake and exited the pro shop and waited outside.

I think there will be enough pressure applied by society that we do not need law enforcement. Something similar to compliance with our uniques 4-way stops. I cannot imagine them working quite as well in any other country.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy You don’t live in central Florida. Lol. Too many Q believers. One of my close friends is completely brainwashed. She will never wear a mask. A group of us were friends. We’re very upset we have had to kind of ignore her. We don’t care if each other has different political views, but we won’t risk our lives to see her, and she insists on preaching her anti-mask, pedophiles, garbage.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie That is bad. No matter what one thinks, it is extremely bad manners to risk others’ health. If I were you, I would make sure she is completely excluded from your group going forward.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@crazyguy a climb back up to 3000 a day and beyond is not only what I see happening. It’s what I guarantee with the coming of Winter and continued spread of infection. Those who manage to hide out pending the arrival of an effective vaccine would be prudent to do so.

j_daniel's avatar

Better be safe than sorry – and the only bright side of this whole situation is that people started to care about their personal hygiene more to stop the virus.

But on the other side, there are way too much people who are “tired” of wearing masks and such. I saw a lady yesterday who came to a shop even though there were signs “no mask – no service” without one, stayed like this in the line (completely ignoring the crowd with kids), charged at the manager and left without her grocery.
So you’re right to take your precautions, OP.

LogicHead's avatar

Common sense suggests that many who would have been attacked by the flue will now first be attacked by covid hence mortality and other rates for this year’s flu season should be LOW.

crazyguy's avatar

@j_daniel I agree 100%. However, my worry is there are going to be a lot more people like the lady you encountered. There will come a time when my precautions may not be enough. People whose livelihood depends on being up and about will not stay put much longer.

crazyguy's avatar

@LogicHead I agree, except I am not certain that covid is more likely to get somebody than the flu which has had more time to figure out people’s defenses.

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