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Old 7th October 2021, 07:21 PM   #1
Puppycow
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Will there be a severe flu season this year?

So I heard about this first from my wife, who read about it in the Japanese media. Apparently the experts here in Japan are worried about a bad flu season this year and are urging everyone to get vaccinated for the flu. I'm very pro-vaccine myself and will likely get mine just to be safe. But I also remember the same experts warning about a "Twindemic" flu season last year that never materialized. In fact, flu was practically non-existent last year compared to a typical year. There was Covid of course, but no flu.

So, they are warning again this year. I googled for articles on the topic and found this:

CDC director warns the U.S. is at risk of a severe flu season this year

Quote:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention influenza experts are concerned that the United States could be at risk for a severe flu season this year, Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky warned Wednesday.

That’s because the U.S. population may now have reduced immunity against influenza after seasonal flu cases reached an all-time low last year when large parts of the nation were shut down, Walensky told reporters during a White House press briefing.

During the 2020-2021 flu season, there were very few flu cases, “largely because of masking and physical distancing and other prevention measures put in place for the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said.
And even the same word is being trotted out again this year, after last year's predicted "twindemic" failed to materialize:
Experts fear a COVID-19 and flu 'twindemic’

Quote:
  • Although there was very little flu activity last year, experts are concerned that the 2021–2022 flu season may be more difficult.
  • The relaxation of pandemic safety measures that also inhibited the spread of other respiratory viruses, such as influenza, may encourage flu infections.
  • Experts know little about treating people who have COVID-19 and the flu at the same time, but there is reason to think that it might lead to more severe outcomes.
As we enter this year’s flu season, experts are strongly encouraging people to get vaccinated against influenza. There are reasons to anticipate a difficult flu season occurring alongside the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Such a “twindemic” could lead to more severe illnesses and a higher death rate.
The reason that I am a bit skeptical, at least in the case of Japan, is that people here are still taking precautions against Covid, albeit maybe somewhat relaxed. The supermarkets still have the plastic barriers up and masks are the rule. People on public transport and public spaces are still masking. People are just more careful in general than they were pre-Covid-19.
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Old 7th October 2021, 08:22 PM   #2
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I'm monitoring the CDC's weekly influenza dashboard. Normally in flu season they get hundreds to thousands of PCR flu reports around the country weekly. In March 2020 flu dropped like a rock and the weekly totals have stayed in the single digits since.. Looking at prior seasons one can see where the ramp starts and get a good idea of how much advance notice we will have. I'm going to wait until I see increases of 5/wk or so to get my flu vaccine. No signs yet of anything but I want to time the vaccine for maximum immunity during the peak which is typically 2-3 months or so after such increases. Don't know if Japan has something similar. R is pretty low for flu but it's absence may increase susceptibility. I don't have a sense of whether it will be significant this winter or not.
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Old 7th October 2021, 08:49 PM   #3
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Is this it?

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm

Do you mean 5% positive or higher?
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Old 7th October 2021, 08:59 PM   #4
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From my first link in the OP, this is really amazing if you think about it:
Quote:
There were around 2,000 flu cases last influenza season, according to data reported to the CDC. By comparison, the 2019-2020 flu season saw an estimated 35 million cases, according to the agency.
From 35 million to only 2,000. That's over a 10,000-fold difference. But that was last year. Maybe this year will be different. 35 million cases was just a normal flu season in America.
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Old 7th October 2021, 09:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
Is this it?

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm

Do you mean 5% positive or higher?
This is the best place. You can select flu seasons by year. Check out 2019-20 v 2018-19 as well as the current year. The Y axis for the current year is about 2 orders of magnitude lower.

https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/flu_by_age_virus.html
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Old 7th October 2021, 09:16 PM   #6
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Ah, thanks for that. So we really haven't yet seen anything like a typical pre-pandemic year yet this year.
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Old 7th October 2021, 11:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
The reason that I am a bit skeptical, at least in the case of Japan, is that people here are still taking precautions against Covid, albeit maybe somewhat relaxed. The supermarkets still have the plastic barriers up and masks are the rule. People on public transport and public spaces are still masking. People are just more careful in general than they were pre-Covid-19.
The problem is that with the COVID vaccine rollout, businesses are opening up and people are relaxing their precautions. We in the ACT had a record low flu season last year, but with everybody taking off the masks and gathering in crowds indoors again, the expectation is that there'll be a surge in flu cases.

In my opinion governments need to do an ad binge about flu vaccination. "It worked for COVID, let's make it work for flu".
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Old 8th October 2021, 12:08 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The problem is that with the COVID vaccine rollout, businesses are opening up and people are relaxing their precautions. We in the ACT had a record low flu season last year, but with everybody taking off the masks and gathering in crowds indoors again, the expectation is that there'll be a surge in flu cases.

In my opinion governments need to do an ad binge about flu vaccination. "It worked for COVID, let's make it work for flu".
I can tell you that people in Japan will definitely not be taking off their masks in large numbers over the winter.

One of the issues seems to be a shortage of flu jabs. My work is usually pretty good at giving people shots with their annual medical but they are talking off shortages this year. My wife has also been having trouble getting hers and one for our son.
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Old 8th October 2021, 12:17 AM   #9
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Japan (and China) are probably going to have a better flu season than the US, the UK and Australia because they won't be taking off their masks. It's more a part of the culture there than it is here. We can't wait to get rid of the damn things.
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Old 8th October 2021, 08:54 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Japan (and China) are probably going to have a better flu season than the US, the UK and Australia because they won't be taking off their masks. It's more a part of the culture there than it is here. We can't wait to get rid of the damn things.
I was wondering if there was mask resistance in other countries than the U.S. Here it seems to be mostly a political thing.
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Old 10th October 2021, 11:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
I was wondering if there was mask resistance in other countries than the U.S. Here it seems to be mostly a political thing.
There are a few anti-maskers here. Not very many. The number is small enough that the rest of us are keeping us safe.
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Old 11th October 2021, 10:32 AM   #12
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The Canadian situation:

There were almost no flu cases in Canada last year. Will that make this year’s season more deadly?

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/...re-deadly.html

Quote:
Canada’s still-fragile medical system is bracing for a flu season that some experts fear will be more severe after COVID-19 measures inadvertently suppressed the virus last year, lowering natural immunity.

Shipments of flu vaccine have already begun rolling out across the country, and Ontario for one says it’s preparing for its biggest flu vaccine campaign in provincial history.
Quote:
“Last year, because of the lockdowns, public health, distancing, masking, handwashing, etc., there was actually very little influenza,” said Dr. Anna Banerji, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Toronto. “When you don’t have influenza for a while, then usually when it comes back, it is usually more severe.

“I think it probably will be a very deadly flu year.”
(Article is behind a paywall. I get access as part of my newspaper subscription).
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Old 11th October 2021, 11:19 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
There are a few anti-maskers here. Not very many. The number is small enough that the rest of us are keeping us safe.
I don't think the typical mask, as typically worn, actually makes much of a difference. But, every little bit helps, especially when you're interacting with the public all day. I wear mine mostly out of respect for the people who do worry about it and take it seriously. And also out of respect for my community, which really doesn't need That Guy right now. Truth be told I'm not much inclined to be That Guy anyway.
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Old 11th October 2021, 12:19 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
From my first link in the OP, this is really amazing if you think about it:


From 35 million to only 2,000. That's over a 10,000-fold difference. But that was last year. Maybe this year will be different. 35 million cases was just a normal flu season in America.
What do you think is more likely? That actual H1N1 infection dropped off of a cliff due to Covid measures taken in 2020 (which, incidentally, failed to put a dent in Covid infection), or that both Covid and H1N1 infection statistics are farcical, the latter being mistaken for, and thus being cannibalized by the former?
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Old 11th October 2021, 12:25 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I don't think the typical mask, as typically worn, actually makes much of a difference. But, every little bit helps, especially when you're interacting with the public all day. I wear mine mostly out of respect for the people who do worry about it and take it seriously. And also out of respect for my community, which really doesn't need That Guy right now. Truth be told I'm not much inclined to be That Guy anyway.
Cloth masks are a joke - this from a nurse I know in a Florida Covid ICU. The only useful masks from a disease prevention standpoint are N95 or N100 respirators, neither of which can be worn for extended periods without developing hypercarbia.

It's rare that I see anyone with masks now here in Florida, and I like it that way. Hopefully mask wearers will begin to be stigmatized, much like vax-mandaters seek to stigmatize the purebloods.
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Old 11th October 2021, 12:41 PM   #16
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I don't get the calculus why it would be expected that one (essentially) "no-flu" season would be likely to be followed by a "severe", even "deadly" flu season. It is my understanding that the flu comes in several different strains, which makes selecting the ones to vaccinate against an interesting game. So the next dominating flu strain may be different strain than last season's strain, and anyone who had last season's strain would then go into the next season with low protection.
Also, it is not like everyone, or a majority, or even just a significant percentage of the population gets infected in a typical season, and so a solid majority of people starts into the coming season no different than they would any other year.

Now, here in Germany I expect that some level of mask mandates and limiting crowd densities, plus somewhat improved hygiene manners by common people (using disinfectants, washing hands, staying home with mild symptoms), will continue through the coming winter, and that will, in my estimate, give us another below-average flu season.

I do want to get vaccinated, but have so far trouble reaching my practitioner's office...
Instead, I am scheduled to get my Covid booster shot (the 3rd one) at work on Wednesday.
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Old 11th October 2021, 01:40 PM   #17
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Depends who you want to listen to. Big Pharma crowd or the people who work on their own Immune Systems.

I'm no vaccine lover, have NOT done a flu jab in over 40 yrs and keep my body loaded with

Vit C, Vit D, Zinc, Quercetin, and my great salvation, Grape Seed Extract.
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Old 11th October 2021, 01:42 PM   #18
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The benefits of the mask push, MORE MASK INDUSTRIES founded. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
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Old 11th October 2021, 02:03 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Caroline13 View Post
The benefits of the mask push, MORE MASK INDUSTRIES founded. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Small potatoes compared to the Great Pants Scam, that's been going on for centuries! Look at any clothing store. You'll maybe find one small display of masks squeezed in somewhere, and rack after rack after rack of trousers, jeans, briefs, and leggings. Where's the real money? Which is the bigger conspiracy? Everywhere you go, people are not only wearing butt muzzles, they're also shaming and persecuting the freedom lovers who refuse to submit. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
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Last edited by Myriad; 11th October 2021 at 02:05 PM. Reason: added the $$$$$$$$$ to inform people who were unaware that articles of clothing cost money
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Old 11th October 2021, 02:11 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Small potatoes compared to the Great Pants Scam, that's been going on for centuries! Look at any clothing store. You'll maybe find one small display of masks squeezed in somewhere, and rack after rack after rack of trousers, jeans, briefs, and leggings. Where's the real money? Which is the bigger conspiracy? Everywhere you go, people are not only wearing butt muzzles, they're also shaming and persecuting the freedom lovers who refuse to submit. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Yep. It's all a conspiracy by BIG PANTS!!!!!
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Old 11th October 2021, 03:25 PM   #21
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The mask industries are small potatoes that is true, but what do have pants and leggings have to do with this post. So we wear clothing, maybe we all need to go nude and be muzzled and no clothes. geeeeeeeeeeezzz
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Old 11th October 2021, 03:56 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Tippit View Post
What do you think is more likely? That actual H1N1 infection dropped off of a cliff due to Covid measures taken in 2020 (which, incidentally, failed to put a dent in Covid infection), or that both Covid and H1N1 infection statistics are farcical, the latter being mistaken for, and thus being cannibalized by the former?
The former actually.
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Old 11th October 2021, 05:26 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Caroline13 View Post
Quercetin, and my great salvation, Grape Seed Extract.
Bull **** snake oil.
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Old 11th October 2021, 05:35 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Caroline13 View Post
Depends who you want to listen to. Big Pharma crowd or the people who work on their own Immune Systems.

I'm no vaccine lover, have NOT done a flu jab in over 40 yrs and keep my body loaded with

Vit C, Vit D, Zinc, Quercetin, and my great salvation, Grape Seed Extract.
Depends who you want to listen to. Big Pharma crowd, which has to do rigorous trials and testing before a medication ever reaches the public, or the people who work on don't know **** about their own Immune Systems.
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Old 15th October 2021, 04:41 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Tippit View Post
Cloth masks are a joke - this from a nurse I know in a Florida Covid ICU. The only useful masks from a disease prevention standpoint are N95 or N100 respirators, neither of which can be worn for extended periods without developing hypercarbia.

It's rare that I see anyone with masks now here in Florida, and I like it that way. Hopefully mask wearers will begin to be stigmatized, much like vax-mandaters seek to stigmatize the purebloods.

Well who can argue with an unnamed nurse from the state that was hit the worst all summer long? Your post is one big lie, except for the part about Floridians not wearing masks. My friend verifies that as do the statistics.
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Old 15th October 2021, 07:33 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Tippit View Post
Cloth masks are a joke - this from a nurse I know in a Florida Covid ICU. The only useful masks from a disease prevention standpoint are N95 or N100 respirators, neither of which can be worn for extended periods without developing hypercarbia.

It's rare that I see anyone with masks now here in Florida, and I like it that way. Hopefully mask wearers will begin to be stigmatized, much like vax-mandaters seek to stigmatize the purebloods.

I live in Florida. I wear a mask when I leave my house. I see others wearing masks but overwhelmingly, most in my area do not.

I write in a diary every day primarily to help my memory. When COVID 19 hit, I included a daily number of USA deaths from Worldometer. My wife and I have been fully vaccinated and when those statistics began going down I began to “drop my guard”. I didn’t sanitize my hands as frequently and I kept a mask in my pocket and only put it on in places if I saw one other person wearing one and had plans to gradually reduce wearing it until the delta variant hit. Now I’m back to my original precautions.

For years whenever I have seen footage of news in Japan, I saw citizens wearing masks. All these years I thought it was a smog issue. It never occurred to me that that it was more a viral issue.

All I know is this - since March of 2020 I have been conscious of mask wearing, hand washing, and social distancing. Those 3. I have not had the common cold since the Fall of 2019 when I used to have 2-3 per season before I retired and at least one a year for all of my life. I don’t know if it’s 1 or 2 or all 3 of those precautions but something there is working for me.

I’m going to wear a mask the rest of my life until it gets outlawed again, stigmatization be damned. I don’t care if I get ostracized. I think Japan knows what the hell works there too.
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Old 15th October 2021, 08:12 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Athyrio View Post
I live in Florida. I wear a mask when I leave my house. I see others wearing masks but overwhelmingly, most in my area do not.

I write in a diary every day primarily to help my memory. When COVID 19 hit, I included a daily number of USA deaths from Worldometer. My wife and I have been fully vaccinated and when those statistics began going down I began to “drop my guard”. I didn’t sanitize my hands as frequently and I kept a mask in my pocket and only put it on in places if I saw one other person wearing one and had plans to gradually reduce wearing it until the delta variant hit. Now I’m back to my original precautions.
In San Diego not many people are wearing masks. No mandates and only a few places require them like the Post Office because it's federal. Fairly high Vax rates here but not super high. Fl. is only slightly lower.

However, cases in Fl. have been dropping like a rock and I think your case rate per capita is now lower than Calif.

C19 delta hit Fl. hard. Much worse than the other waves but it's also dropping faster than almost anywhere. Weather of course. Similar pattern to last summer. Now it's moving into the midwest and northeast as it gets colder and people congregate indoors with less ventilation. Ramps aren't as steep as they were in Fla and the CFR is lower (under 1 v about 1.5 - 2 in Fl). That's likely because of a higher percentage of breakthroughs in the north are where more are vaxxed. Still a big difference. Probably indicates unvaxxed were more likely to socialize with other unvaxxed in Fl. That said, Fl. has a pretty good portion of the old and vulnerable vaxxed so a good fraction of the remaining unvaxxed that survived are now somewhat immune having caught it over the last few months.

Good chance this was the last significant wave in Fl. but I expect waves in north somewhat reduced because of the higher vax rate in the over 60's and higher degree of prior infection in some places like NY, MA, NJ...

As for Flu, there's a study out that indicates people have less severe Covid if they have had a flu shot in the prior 6 months. Something like 30% reduction.
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Old 15th October 2021, 11:43 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by marting View Post
In San Diego not many people are wearing masks. No mandates and only a few places require them like the Post Office because it's federal. Fairly high Vax rates here but not super high. Fl. is only slightly lower.

However, cases in Fl. have been dropping like a rock and I think your case rate per capita is now lower than Calif.

C19 delta hit Fl. hard. Much worse than the other waves but it's also dropping faster than almost anywhere. Weather of course. Similar pattern to last summer. Now it's moving into the midwest and northeast as it gets colder and people congregate indoors with less ventilation. Ramps aren't as steep as they were in Fla and the CFR is lower (under 1 v about 1.5 - 2 in Fl). That's likely because of a higher percentage of breakthroughs in the north are where more are vaxxed. Still a big difference. Probably indicates unvaxxed were more likely to socialize with other unvaxxed in Fl. That said, Fl. has a pretty good portion of the old and vulnerable vaxxed so a good fraction of the remaining unvaxxed that survived are now somewhat immune having caught it over the last few months.

Good chance this was the last significant wave in Fl. but I expect waves in north somewhat reduced because of the higher vax rate in the over 60's and higher degree of prior infection in some places like NY, MA, NJ...

As for Flu, there's a study out that indicates people have less severe Covid if they have had a flu shot in the prior 6 months. Something like 30% reduction.
Fwiw, median age by state:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._by_median_age

Florida is 42, but isn't actually the oldest state. That would be Maine, at 45. California is 37. US median is 38. Utah is youngest at 31 (not counting some territories other than states). The New England region as a whole seems to be rather older than the US median.
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Old 15th October 2021, 11:51 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by marting View Post
This is the best place. You can select flu seasons by year. Check out 2019-20 v 2018-19 as well as the current year. The Y axis for the current year is about 2 orders of magnitude lower.

https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/flu_by_age_virus.html
I see we've started a new year. Looking at past years pre-2020, infections are typically still low at this time of year but begin to ramp up in October and November.
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Old 16th October 2021, 03:42 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
I see we've started a new year. Looking at past years pre-2020, infections are typically still low at this time of year but begin to ramp up in October and November.
Yep. Still historically low. Curious how it will track years prior to 2020. Likely will be larger than last year but whether it's above or below the long term averages is pretty unknown.

It's going to be a balance between a decrease in flu mmunity from nearly no flu since 2019 and the suppressive impact of relatively few remaining NPIs. Could easily be either.

I'm just going to wait until the start of a clear ramp as I want the flu vaccine to be kicking in maxx near the future peak.
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Old 17th October 2021, 06:16 AM   #31
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Big data

Link

This 2018 article suggests that predictions about the severity of the flu season are not easy to make, especially when they are about the future.

"Seasonal intensity, longevity, peak date and severity predictions are even more difficult to forecast. An alternative approach using ‘Big Data’ to estimate influenza activity earlier/better was developed by Google with a proprietary algorithm known as ‘Google Flu Trends’.3 However, over subsequent years, it became evident that the predictive capacity of this model was limited4 and that use of web-user information alone was insufficient and would have been better combined with traditional surveillance information.5 In general, mathematical models based on known transmission dynamics have been somewhat hamstrung by a lack of understanding of the drivers of seasonality, and these have generally performed better when fitted to past data but less well prospectively.6"
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Old 19th October 2021, 03:47 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Athyrio View Post
I live in Florida. I wear a mask when I leave my house....
Why?

Presumably, when you leave your house, you step out into the outdoors. There is essentially little good reason to wear a mask when you are outdoors (and not stuck in a tightly packed crowd).

Put it on when you go indoors, with people not in your household present. Wear it in the office, wear it in public transport, wear it when you go shopping.

A few days ago, I found this (pay-walled) article in the NYT, describing the author's observations about mask-wearing in Germany, where there is widespread consent about it: Put it on when inside with strangers, take it off when you go outside or are in a private space. Simple. Works.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/12/o...-vaccines.html
Germany has consistently seen lower Covid infection rates than any US state for a very long time (in winter, for a few weeks, the worst wave here made us exceed US average). Right now, 760 new cases/million/week. Only Hawai'i is slightly better at 680. Also, just 5 new deaths/million/week - only DC had better numbers.

I expect this simple regime also works wonders against the spread of the flu.
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Old 19th October 2021, 04:54 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
Why?

Presumably, when you leave your house, you step out into the outdoors. There is essentially little good reason to wear a mask when you are outdoors (and not stuck in a tightly packed crowd).

Put it on when you go indoors, with people not in your household present. Wear it in the office, wear it in public transport, wear it when you go shopping.

A few days ago, I found this (pay-walled) article in the NYT, describing the author's observations about mask-wearing in Germany, where there is widespread consent about it: Put it on when inside with strangers, take it off when you go outside or are in a private space. Simple. Works.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/12/o...-vaccines.html
Germany has consistently seen lower Covid infection rates than any US state for a very long time (in winter, for a few weeks, the worst wave here made us exceed US average). Right now, 760 new cases/million/week. Only Hawai'i is slightly better at 680. Also, just 5 new deaths/million/week - only DC had better numbers.
I'm more than happy for people to wear them when they leave the house and take them off when they get home again. As mentioned in another thread, that is what the majority of people will do in Japan. Taking it off and putting it your pocket just seems dirty to me now.

It might not be completely rational but I think erring on the side of caution is better than the whole "**** this ****, the pandemic's over!" behaviour in the UK.

Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
I expect this simple regime also works wonders against the spread of the flu.
Yes, almost certainly. One of the reasons I was fine wearing a mask from the beginning of this and wanted others to do so too was because research on mask wearing that predated Covid was done on the flu. I thought there was no reason not to wear a mask given that.
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Old 19th October 2021, 07:05 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Chris_Halkides View Post
This 2018 article suggests that predictions about the severity of the flu season are not easy to make, especially when they are about the future.
Yes, predictions about the past are much easier.
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Old 19th October 2021, 09:46 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
... Taking [the mask] off and putting it your pocket just seems dirty to me now. ...
I feel the other way round: Making the mask filter constantly makes it dirty; you keep it moist, especially in cooler weather, much to the delight of some microbes,
I'd rather exhale and spit out the fluids in my nose and mouth into the open air than collect them all day and keep them on my face.
In my pocket, at worst, the mask gets a little dusty on the outside with cotton fibers.
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Old 25th October 2021, 05:59 AM   #36
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From the Asahi Shimbun:

Almost no cases of flu yet, but big outbreak still possible

Quote:
Although a winter outbreak of influenza has not materialized, experts caution that one could still occur--with huge ramifications for health care workers bracing for sixth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health ministry officials, citing reports from 5,000 or so medical institutions across Japan that regularly provide updates on the spread of influenza, reported only 10 cases of flu during a week through Oct. 17.

The count at this time last year was 17, compared with 4,447 two years ago.
Sounds to me like a big outbreak is unlikely this year. But "experts" are warning of one nonetheless.

There were more than 400 times as many infections at this time 2 years ago.

Quote:
Health authorities in Britain are predicting as much as a 50-percent rise in influenza cases this winter compared with a normal year and urging people to get vaccinated.
So they are predicting an above-average flu season in Britain. Although, the current levels seem to remain low.

Is it possible that somehow Covid can "displace" the flu? I understand that the NPIs taken against Covid would also be effective against the flu, but somehow they tend to be less effective against Sars-CoV-2. Is there some kind of displacement effect, where one respiratory virus crowds out another?
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Old Today, 06:48 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
From the Asahi Shimbun:

Almost no cases of flu yet, but big outbreak still possible


Sounds to me like a big outbreak is unlikely this year. But "experts" are warning of one nonetheless.

There were more than 400 times as many infections at this time 2 years ago.



So they are predicting an above-average flu season in Britain. Although, the current levels seem to remain low.

Is it possible that somehow Covid can "displace" the flu? I understand that the NPIs taken against Covid would also be effective against the flu, but somehow they tend to be less effective against Sars-CoV-2. Is there some kind of displacement effect, where one respiratory virus crowds out another?
R0 for Covid is much higher than the Flu. And no indication of Flu increases so far. If we do have a significant Flu season it will probably be delayed into Jan/March. I think it's pretty likely that there will be no flu 21/22 as i expect pockets of Covid to occur this winter. People will naturally impliment some NPIs and it takes very little to supress Flu compared to Covid. I also expect that any Covid waves this winter will be small compared to Delta. We're near the end of the big Covid. Will still be small waves but nothing like we have seen as it goes endemic.
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Old Today, 08:39 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by marting View Post
R0 for Covid is much higher than the Flu. And no indication of Flu increases so far. If we do have a significant Flu season it will probably be delayed into Jan/March. I think it's pretty likely that there will be no flu 21/22 as i expect pockets of Covid to occur this winter. People will naturally impliment some NPIs and it takes very little to supress Flu compared to Covid. I also expect that any Covid waves this winter will be small compared to Delta. We're near the end of the big Covid. Will still be small waves but nothing like we have seen as it goes endemic.
I think it all depends on the country we are talking about. If it’s Japan where the Asahi article is describing then yeah, I would expect flu to be suppressed due to the very mitigation strategies in place to reduce Covid.

If it is the UK? Well, I don’t think any mitigation strategies are really in force so I expect flu to be more or less as usual.
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Old Today, 08:49 PM   #39
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I'm expecting a nasty flu season next year. It won't hit us badly until about April/May, which is going to be long enough after lockdowns and precautions have been lifted that most people will have forgotten what it was like. I'll definitely be getting my shot as soon as it is available.
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