Are Masks the New Normal for Cold and Flu Season?

Health Tips
September 23, 2022
2 Min Read
Are Masks the New Normal for Cold and Flu Season?

As flu season approaches, we’re asked if we should start wearing masks again. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, wariness around common viruses and illnesses has steadily increased, and many of us have become more cautious due to the 2020 pandemic.

Though it seemed strange at first, mask-wearing has become an everyday occurrence in a post-pandemic world. Common colds and the flu used to be little cause for concern. However, things have changed so we may welcome a new normal for the incoming flu season.

Flu Season is Upon Us: What Could This Mean for Masks?

The CDC still recommends that masks be worn indoors, especially during outbreaks of COVID-19 or other related illnesses. Although many COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, this doesn’t mean there’s less risk of catching a sickness.

Flu season means there will likely be a spike in COVID-19 cases. There will also be a potential spike in other illnesses like the common cold, bronchitis, and of course, the flu. Viruses tend to thrive in the colder months, so more protective measures may follow suit.

So will mask-wearing become the norm during flu season? Most people aren’t willing to return to living in a restrictive environment, and many resist mask-wearing. Others feel it’s necessary to wear masks indoors, especially during flu season.

Depending on CDC guidelines, and federal and institutional regulations, masks may or may not become the new normal. You should always take preventive measures against viruses like the flu or COVID-19. To best protect you and the people around you, masks may be a wise choice.

When is Flu Season?

In the United States, flu season occurs during the colder months, and fall and winter are typically when flu season falls. October-March is when cases of influenza or related illnesses begin to spike. Flu activity peaks in December-February, but cases may occur late in May.

Before flu season starts, you can stay up to date on your annual flu shot. Encourage your loved ones to get the flu shot at any local pharmacy or medical provider. This way, you and your family can stay safe this flu season. Flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines can even be given at the same time.

Symptoms of Seasonal Flu

Whether you stay masked or not this incoming flu season, you should remain informed of flu symptoms. Symptoms associated with the flu may be eerily similar to that of COVID-19. For an accurate diagnosis, always remember to get tested.

Symptoms of seasonal flu are:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Congestion

You may also experience swollen lymph nodes, loss of appetite, dehydration, or shortness of breath. Consult your doctor to determine the best course of action at the onset of symptoms.

Although the flu typically lasts 3-7 days, it’s not fun. You can take preventive measures like washing your hands, getting the flu shot, and staying masked if necessary.

BASS Medical Can Help this Flu Season

BASS Medical has your back for all things related to flu season and COVID-19. We pride ourselves on providing excellent service to those in the greater Bay Area. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with us or have any questions, call us at (925) 350-4044.