Good afternoon, readers.

It’s that time of year again. Yes, the time of year when public health experts bug you to get your flu shot.

We all know that the flu shot isn’t perfect. Sure, you may still get influenza after getting your yearly jab. Sure, its effectiveness varies wildly from year to year given that the flu virus mutates.

But the pathogen still kills tens of thousands of people every year—one of the main reasons that those trying to downplay the coronavirus risk have compared that virus to influenza.

This year, however, COVID has already claimed more than 200,000 American lives in a far shorter timeline than what we see from the flu. And as we step towards October, flu season will rear its head again as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage unabated.

That’s a problem on multiple fronts. For one thing, it might be difficult to distinguish who has the flu and who has COVID. Hospitals may continue to see surging cases of both diseases which can drain their resources. And a country eager to just get back to normal may not be willing to avoid close indoor contact during the holiday season.

Read on for the day’s news, and see you again next week.

Sy Mukherjee


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