(Alice Park/ Time Magazine) –– So far, COVID-19 has come with one small silver lining for health: cases of influenza have dropped dramatically.
During the first flu season during the pandemic, lockdowns kept people indoors and away from one another, limiting the virus’ ability to spread. And once people began mingling more during the next flu seasons, widespread use of masks blocked influenza’s chances of infecting large numbers of people.
But that could change this flu season, as mask mandates have disappeared and more people are interacting in close quarters in school, workplaces, sports events, public transport, and more.
Health experts are warning that flu cases could rise again this winter, and that the combination of influenza and COVID-19 together could pose a real public-health threat that sends more people to the hospital and in need of intensive care. (…)