Common Colds

Why are people saying there have been fewer colds since COVID? In my family, we’ve had our usual number.

6 thoughts on “Common Colds

  1. Probably because people visited doctors less than the pre-COVID average, which in turn led to fewer colds being reported even if the same number of people actually suffered from a cold..

    That said, your family includes a young child, which means that colds and flus are more readily vectored into the household after being acquired at school.

    In turn that would mean that the degree of potential exposure to pathogens in your family was not reduced or only slightly reduced, which would be different to childless households whose degree of potential exposure to pathogens was significantly reduced or totally eliminated.

    In that case, the latter household would experience fewer or no colds, which you wouldn’t be aware of or notice since your circumstance is relatively unchanged.

    Another likely factor is COVID infection, since people who are infected with that are likely to attribute any kind of respiratory infection or head cold symptoms to COVID, leading to under-reporting of colds and flu.

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  2. We’ve definitely had fewer colds. Last year when the kids didn’t go to in-person school, we had zero (I was the only one who went to work in person, and my students were all masked and distanced). Youngest had one mild cold when he first started back in person this September (they are all masked) but otherwise nothing. It’s the masking and distancing; they do prevent spread of droplets from coughing and sneezing, so work on contagious respiratory viruses. I personally don’t miss undergrads sneezing and coughing on me from the first row in overcrowded classrooms, or wiping their noses with their sleeves and hands, then touching stuff in my office during office hours.

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    1. Probably. We are in one of the most restrictive areas and we had no illnesses for almost a year. I was legitimately concerned that my toddler wasn’t getting the appropriate immune stimulation. After we worked out how to live mostly normally, she caught up.

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