Flu Season Disappeared in the Southern Hemisphere This Year

Ever since we all started wearing masks and social distancing because of COVID-19 I’ve been wondering whether this would have an effect on other illnesses. Will we have fewer colds? Less flu? It seems like we should.

And sure enough, that appears to be the case. Down in the southern hemisphere, where winter flu season started several months ago and is now over, there hasn’t been a winter flu season. Literally. Here’s an excerpt from some charts originally published by the Economist:

That’s pretty remarkable, and it looks the same in other southern hemisphere countries too. Presumably this means that if we get our act together and persuade everyone to wear their damn masks and stay six feet apart, we could have a very light flu season too. That would be a huge win since epidemiologists are universally worried about the possibility of both flu and COVID-19 coinciding later in the year.

So keep wearing your masks. Continue with your social distancing. And get a flu shot!

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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