When COVID hit there were countless changes made in response to this virus. One of the biggest changes made was the requirement to wear a mask.
People have been having a love-hate relationship with masks. A lot of people wear them but are still anticipating the day that government officials say that they can take them off. But are the masks really all that bad?
Both COVD-19 and Influenza, commonly known as the flu, are airborne viruses. This means that these viruses travel in tiny air droplets. Sneezing, coughing, talking, and breathing are ways that you can contract the viruses. During flu season, the flu cases dropped tremendously. Experts believe that this was due to COVID-19 restrictions that are set in place. People are wearing masks, social distancing, frequently washing hands, and constantly sanitizing commonly used surfaces. According to Dr. Casey Kelly, a family medicine physician, school closures have an enormous effect on the case numbers. Children aren’t as immune to the flu due to the lack of exposure to many pathogens.
This is why it’s so easy for children to get the flu and pass it on to the next child. The practices put in place to prevent COVID-19 from spreading are lowering the amounts of germs being spread causing the decline in flu cases. According to the CDC, only 155 people were hospitalized with the flu between October 1, 2020, and January 30, 2021. Last year around that same time, 8,633 people were hospitalized with the flu. That’s a 98 percent decrease! Maybe masks aren’t all that bad. After COVID isn’t as common and the pandemic ends, as a society we should consider permanently adopting some of these habits to help keep us healthy.
By Ashleigh Howard-Jones
Senior, University High School