Not long ago when you thought about getting a virus, it meant you'd be laying in bed for a few days maybe with a fever. Now, the word takes on a whole new meaning. The coronavirus is causing people to stay home, social distance, and wash their hands maybe more than ever. All these practices have helped fight the influenza too says Dr. Luther Rhodes of Lehigh Valley Health Network. "For years our flu tests would start to trail off late January, February And by March there were very few but there were still some tests. We got to the point where at the beginning of February there was zero as far as flu tests. And that is unprecedented."
But it's not just the flu. Social distancing is helping in other ways too. "It would also prevent the spread of merca, skin infections some forms of food poisoning would definitely be less. We know other things like car accidents would be less because less people are driving so there's a lot of societal impacts and health impacts of social distancing" Rhodes says it also is having negative effects. "There's a general malaise in the country. professionally, personally I see it. We talked to patients who we have trouble getting some patients who clearly need to come in and be seen, but are terrified to leave their homes. And we need to work on that."