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!

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate