Evidence Suggests This Flu Season Won't Be As Bad, Face Masks To Thank

A Chinese woman's glasses fog up while wearing a protective mask at Beijing Station before she boarded a train before the annual Spring Festival on January 22, 2020 in Beijing, China.
Photo credit Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Some evidence suggests this flu season won’t be as bad as in years past, because of the widespread use of face masks.

In the Southern Hemisphere, where it is already flu season, fewer people are catching the virus. 

“I do think that because of the way that flu is spread, if we maintain mask wearing, that we will see lower incidents of flu,” Dr. Maria Raven, chief of emergency medicine at University of California San Francisco, said. 

Dr. Raven said that would be very helpful, as hospital beds are needed for coronavirus patients this year.  

She told KCBS Radio that although the two viruses have a lot of similarities, with the flu, the very young and very old are at a higher risk for a severe case.  

“Everybody needs to get the flu vaccine,” Dr. Raven added. 

There are also changes occurring because of the pandemic that she believes will last far beyond this winter.  

Dr. Raven said health care workers aren’t going to drop that extra personal protective equipment when the coronavirus is under control. 

“I do that that probably, maybe forever, if not for a very long time, our lives in the healthcare arena, especially in the emergency department and probably in the inpatient hospital setting, are going to be very different and we are going to be wearing PPE in a way that we never did before,” she said.