10% the flu rate in New South Wales


Kate Aubusson and Pallavi Singhal reported this warning in the Sydney Morning Herald:

Sydneysiders with flu-like symptoms have been warned that they are more likely to have COVID-19 than influenza, with the flu rate in NSW at 10 per cent of what it was at this time last year.

The latest NSW surveillance data also reveals the total number of people killed by COVID-19 and influenza this year is half the death rate of influenza alone over the same period in 2019 and a fraction of the fatalities during the horror 2017 flu season.

Touch wood, and migraines aside, I haven’t gone this long without at least a cold in years. I suspect all it took was someone sneezing on public transport, or coughing in a public place.

I hope this will be a lasting legacy from this horrid disease. People will wear masks if they’re sick, will seek immediate testing and treatment, and employers will be more flexible with working from home if their staff are unwell.

It reminds me of the Australian International School in Singapore in the 2000s giving out awards to people with perfect attendance. Even at the time I thought it was perverse, counter-productive, and sent the entirely wrong message. Maybe I was just salty that I only got it once!

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