1. Last Wednesday, the cover photo of our local freebie newspaper had a pumpkin with a mask over it . . . I wonder how many years THAT trope will last . . .

  2. I hope it lasts a long time, because it will be a reminder that masks help keep us safe. I hope people start wearing masks if they have a cough or cold. Or flu. This is expected to be the lowest mortality flu season ever, because of masks.

  3. >. . . and because more folks are taking the flu vaccinations.

    Are they? Is there anything about covid that encourages flu shots?

  4. Yes; people are more afraid of getting the flu and becoming more susceptible to COVID.

    I may have written this previously: My yogini’s husband is an attorney for Walgreens; she told me back in August that they are getting ready for a higher amount of vaccination requests. When I went to Walgreens a few days later to get my flu shot, I asked the pharmacist about this. He told me that they’ve not had an influx yet (the vaccine was only available for a day or two when I went in), BUT they’ve been receiving a higher-than-usual amount of phone calls inquiring about its availability.

    SOME people may believe – erroneously – that flu vaccine is also good against COVID, but that is just my own thought, with no evidence for it except for people’s – ahem – stupidity.

  5. Not sure if I remember seeing the full story, but I know it was only recently that I encountered the word yogini for the first time; and that was probably from you in this same context.

    Now I need to get back to my sandwich, accompanied by a hot episode of QI (from the Sandi Toksvig era, natch).

  6. The ONLY good thing about this ‘stay-at-home’ time has been reconnecting with her through ZOOM, so that I can have private sessions again. She’s in WI; I’m in FL and hadn’t done yoga for five years.

  7. The other reason for reduced flu is social distancing. Flu also spreads person-to-person.

    The other reason for increased vaccination is that people quite rightly do not want to have to go to the doctor during a COVID-19 outbreak, so they’re taking precautions.

  8. From my quotes file:

    “We don’t wear masks during flu season so why now” is a good point, we should wear masks during flu season too
    – @InternetHippo

  9. People can be infected by various flu viruses and Covid independently (successively and/or simultaneously). There is a small amount of worry about potential cross contamination between the different virus types, but the primary reason for encouraging flu shots is that anyone who is weakened by one infection is much more likely to get seriously ill from a second infection. This applies in either direction: people with a compromised immune system can (and do) die from the flu, just as happens with Covid. Since a tested, safe, and effective Covid vaccine will not be available for the foreseeable future, it makes lots of sense to vaccinate against flu, since that vaccine is readily available right now.
    P.S. The German health system has recommended widespread flu shots, and there is supposed to be enough doses to go around, but distribution has been a problem. Our pediatrician said that we should wait and call back in a few weeks, right now they have just enough flu shots to cover “high risk” patients, for which our kids (thankfully) don’t qualify.

  10. The vaccinations are a difference currently. I would guess that this will be a milder cold and flu season because the precautions against C19 will help there too.

  11. Re the crossword: I do *a lot* of crosswords. I don’t remember how yogini was clued, but as it was the first time I had encountered that word, I looked it up and it stuck in my mind (at least for a while).

  12. Yes, we are among those who have never had a flu shot (and he has flu once,while I have had it twice in our lives) and decided to get one this year. What they are concerned about is someone having the flu and Covid-19 concurrently and having to fight off both at the same time.

    What surprised us when we went to the doctor’s office for the flu shot – I was told, as I expected, to call from the car when we got there. We were then called back to come in. We had expected to have our temperature taken when going in and for the waiting room to be close to empty or empty. Figuring we were not seeing the doctor we could see maybe one person waiting for him and one person for the unrelated doctor who shares his waiting room. But there were at least 10 people spread out around the waiting room and no temperature check.

    The big question with Halloween masks seems to be – Does one wear their covid mask over or under their Halloween mask?

  13. The big question with Halloween masks seems to be – Does one wear their covid mask over or under their Halloween mask?

    Here’s an excerpt from the advice my city published:

    • A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.
    • Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.

  14. @ Brian in StL – I haven‘t found one, but ever since this thread started it has been my plan to carve one like that. However, if it proves to be too difficult, I may chicken out and hang a disposable mask over the botched carving job.

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