Los Angeles residents are tired of Covid. It has been nearly a year since our first lockdown, and we are still dealing with it. We are looking forward to the day where we don’t have to think about covid anymore.
But will that day ever come? Will we ever be completely rid of Covid?
Thankfully, that is not nearly as bad as it sounds.
Remember The Flu?
Do you remember the flu? It will be forgivable if you don’t. The flu has been almost nonexistent in Los Angeles and the rest of the world this year.
Nationally, “this is the lowest flu season we’ve had on record,” according to a surveillance system that is about 25 years old.
In a normal year, the U.S. has between 600,000 and 800,000 hospitalizations due to the flu. That leads to between 50,000 to 60,000 deaths.
Complete flu death data takes a long time to compile. However, the CDC keeps a running count of the deaths of children. There has been one pediatric flu death this year. There were 92 pediatric deaths at this point last year.
There are many reasons for the drop in flu cases. The most obvious is the Covid precautions. The same things that work against Covid also work against the flu. Social distancing, mask-wearing, and avoiding crowded places all cut flu cases significantly.
There is also a chance that the pandemic inspired more Los Angeles residents to get flu vaccine than normal.
Just Like The Flu?
At the beginning of the pandemic, a lot of people described Covid as just another flu. It turns out that they were completely wrong. However, that might not always be the case.
Listen to the details about this disease. A deadly infectious disease killed more than 36,000 Americans. Then, the next year another 12,000 died. Over the next eight years, between 22,000 and 62,000 died due to the disease.
What was this terrible disease?
Influenza, aka the flu, ranks among the top 15 causes of death in America. Yet Los Angeles doesn't come to a complete halt for the flu.
That brings up the question, can Covid ever be as mild as the flu?
Covid Isn’t Going Anywhere
One issue we should get out of the way is that Covid is not going anywhere. A time where Los Angeles has exactly zero Covid is a complete fantasy.
Israel has vaccinated the largest portion of its population in the world. A recent analysis of 602,000 Israelis showed that 21 vaccinated people later contracted Covid and had to be hospitalized. 21 out of 602,000 is amazing. However, it is not zero.
Vaccines are never 100% effective. That is why we still have the flu even though we have a vaccine for it. That is why we will still have Covid in the future. The real goal is to lower the risk to a point where people are willing to accept the risk. Similar to the way we all accept the risk of the flu.
Think about it this way. According to Israel’s numbers, 3.5 out of every 100,000 vaccinated people are hospitalized with COVID symptoms. During a typical flu season, 150 out of 100,000 are hospitalized with flu symptoms.
Those numbers are estimates and not a perfect comparison. However, they should give us all hope. Once it is becoming increasingly clear that we can go back to normal life once we get enough people vaccinated.
As much as Covid has sucked for all of us, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Los Angeles, and the rest of the world, will eventually go back to normal.