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With any luck, COVID-19 outbreak will soon be history

It is estimated that 24,000 Americans have been killed by the viruses, thus far this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At its peak, the illness was claiming about 500 lives a week. Though the outbreak is trailing off, it may kill another 300 or more people this week.

COVID-19? Of course not. Deaths outlined above were from common influenza. Two strains appear to have done the most damage this season.

Yet a vaccine against the most common varieties of flu has been available widely for months.

COVID-19 has virtually paralyzed some large urban areas. Its mortality rate — much higher than for the flu — has made it the top headline.

To date, there is no vaccine against COVID-19, though researchers are working feverishly on one.

One trait is shared by common flu and COVID-19. Both are most dangerous to older people with underlying medical conditions. They are the highest percentage of deaths.

It appears that suddenly, the vast majority of Americans have become ultra-conscious of common preventive measures such as social distancing and prudent individual behaviors. Yet during the past several months, while they had ample opportunities to do so, comparatively few got vaccinated against the flu.

With any luck, the COVID-19 outbreak will be history within six to eight months. But the flu will be back, each and every year. Think about that next fall when you are urged to get vaccinated against the flu -to safeguard yourself and others.

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