The common flu and cold both share symptoms that could easily be confused with COVID-19, making this year’s cold and flu season different from other years.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these symptoms include fever, chills, coughing, shortness of breath, fatigue, sore throat, runny/ stuffy nose, muscle pains, and headaches.
“When people get the flu, they start coughing and sneezing a lot, so I think if that started it would cause a lot of disruptions in classes, and people might mistake it for COVID-19 because the symptoms are so similar,” said Connor Lundberg, a sophomore.
Although the upcoming cold and flu season raises more health concerns, it could also lead to a lower number of COVID-19 cases. Kelly Servick from the American Association for Advancement of Science states that “being infected with one type of flu virus, influenza A, seemed to reduce the chance of also having a Rhinovirus, the researchers reported in 2019.” COVID-19 and HRV are both associated with the same common illnesses. Stephen B Greenburg claims that “Human rhinovirus (HRV) and coronavirus (HCoV) infections are associated with both upper respiratory tract illness (“the common cold”) and lower respiratory tract illness (pneumonia).” Because of their similarities, scientists believe the concept of gaining one virus and being immune to the other could also serve true for COVID-19.
COVID-19 has also changed how and whether people get vaccinated for the upcoming flu season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some workplaces no longer offer vaccines due to COVID-19. However, there are still many local locations that offer flu vaccines for all age ranges. These include Walmart, Fry’s pharmacy, and Safeway. Although, it is still a question whether or not it is necessary for everyone to receive a flu shot this year.
“I think it’s important for vulnerable people, like the elderly, to get them. For others that are young and healthy, I’m not sure if it is necessary,” said Gaetano Gianni, a health teacher.
The way students and staff members feel about the flu and cold season combining with the present health issues differs.
“I’m unbothered by the cold and flu season approaching because I personally don’t know anyone with COVID-19…If I were someone who knew another person with it, I’d be concerned, because the cold and flu can weaken your immune system even more,” said Kaylee Suiter, a freshman.
The current staff is doing everything in their power to keep the learning environment safe and healthy.
Even though there are many common symptoms between COVID-19 and the common cold, the precautions the administration is taking help to lower any cases so students can continue in-person learning.