What’s going on?
Stephen Woolf, a professor of family medicine and population health at Virginia Commonwealth University, told The Guardian that people in the United States need to take the pandemic seriously to stop a horrific winter season.
- “It’s very important now that the country undertake a really serious commitment to adopting the kinds of policies that are necessary to prevent this virus getting transmitted through a community.”
- “Not having large gatherings, not having big games in football stadiums, not having big political rallies, and many other things the society and politicians are resisting.”
Woolf said the fall season could be “perilous” now that the U.S. has failed to curb the spread.
- “The concern I have going into the fall is this is a very perilous point in time. “We’re entering the winter flu season, and we’re not going into it with low baseline rates (of coronavirus) like we should have.”
Stopping COVID-19 could stop flu season, experts said
Researchers recently told Scientific American the policies used to stop the spread of the coronavirus — like washing your hands or wearing a mask — could help stop the spread of influenza, as I wrote for Deseret.
- “The belief is this was the result of wearing masks, more frequent hand-washing, physical distancing and less large gatherings,” Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association told Salon. “Influenza and the common cold are diseases spread person to person in much the same way as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. So, efforts to reduce COVID-19 have the dual benefit of reducing colds and flu.”
There has been some evidence of this happening in the Southern Hemisphere in places like Australia and New Zealand, as well as countries in South America. Those areas saw lower flu cases due to the COVID-19 measures, as I wrote for Deseret.