Have you noticed that flu cases are almost non-existent? There are two things Idahoans are doing to kick it to the curb.

Wearing masks.

And social distancing.

Apparently, the things we're doing to battle COVID-19 are also working against the flu, because this is one of the lightest flu seasons we've ever had in Idaho and across the U.S.  That's one positive side effect of obeying the pandemic rules.

The CDC tracks flu cases weekly, and has Idaho in green, meaning flu cases here are minimal.  For the week ending January 23rd, there was only one state in yellow and that was Oklahoma.  All other states were in the green.  It's not great for chicken noodle soup and NyQuil sales, but we'll take it.

Flu season usually starts in October and ends in late February or March, so we're almost in the clear for another year.  BUT, there's usually a huge spike in the number of flu cases every February because, by this time, the virus has had three months to build up and get a grip, and cold weather keeps us inside awhile longer, where the germs have a chance to attack. Soup sales could be picking up as the month goes on, but so far so good.

It makes total sense that the flu would be semi-squashed this year because Flu A and Flu B have never had to contend with facemasks and 6 to 8 foot jumps before.  It's a brand new obstacle course for them.  And, with so much remote work happening, there aren't as many people in conference rooms and break rooms and the flu can't find entire offices to infect.

So, nice work, Idaho.  We've become better at washing hands, using hand sanitizer, and never kissing another person, ever.  It may not be the ideal way to live, but it's helping to corral the flu this season.  Surely COVID won't be far behind.

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