The end of the annual flu

The medical and scientific communities can’t figure out where the flu has gone or why it has virtually disappeared:

In the Southern Hemisphere, where the flu season happens during our summer months, the WHO data suggests it never took off at all. In Australia, just 14 positive flu cases were recorded in April, compared with 367 during the same month in 2019 – a 96 per cent drop. By June, usually the peak of its flu season, there were none. In fact, Australia has not reported a positive case to the WHO since July.

In Chile, just 12 cases of flu were detected between April and October. There were nearly 7,000 during the same period in 2019. And in South Africa, surveillance tests picked up just two cases at the beginning of the season, which quickly dropped to zero over the following month – overall, a 99 per cent drop compared with the previous year.

In the UK, our flu season is only just beginning. But since Covid-19 began spreading in March, just 767 cases have been reported to the WHO compared with nearly 7,000 from March to October last year. And while lab-confirmed flu cases last year jumped by ten per cent between September and October, as a new season gets under way this year they’ve risen by just 0.7 per cent so far…. Other research by Public Health England has confirmed this. Globally, it is estimated that rates of flu may have plunged by 98 per cent compared with the same time last year.

‘This is real,’ says Dr David Strain, senior clinical lecturer at the University of Exeter Medical School. ‘There’s no doubt that we’re seeing far fewer incidences of flu.’

So where has flu gone?

Covid-19 is the flu, obviously. Despite whatever differences there might be between a coronavirus and a rhinovirus, Covid-19 is simply playing the role that the annual flu strain, which is different every year, does. It is a little more dangerous than the normal flu virus, though considerably less dangerous than certain historical strains. Which is why all the lockdown and mask nonsense is now totally pointless, and is merely delaying the natural process of the virus working its way through the population before it finally peters out.

It wasn’t a bad idea to err on the side of caution when the virulence of the disease was unknown. But now we know, so there is no reason to continue being paranoid about it.