Why Does It Feel Like Everyone Sick Right Now? Can anyone honestly, truly say they feel their best right now? Whether you’re dealing with one of the many viruses currently surging or you feel mentally drained, down or just off, you’re not alone.
This holiday season — our third since COVID-19 showed up — was supposed to be a cheerful return to normal. Instead, amid the specter of a “tripledemic,” this winter is shaping up to be a new kind of warning.
And it’s no surprise that we’re all feeling it one way or another.
“I knew we were going to get pummeled.”
Sure, it might be a bit of an exaggeration to say everyone is sick right now, Dr. Waleed Javaid, epidemiologist and director of infection prevention and control at Mount Sinai Downtown, tells TODAY.com. But it’s not entirely untrue: “There’s a lot of people who are sick,” he says, and certainly more than one might expect.
In fact, almost every expert TODAY.com spoke to for this story confessed that they and/or their kids were sick at the time.
Children’s hospitals are filling with cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which can cause serious breathing issues in babies, young kids and older adults. Flu infections and hospitalizations are rising much earlier than normal. And, with two emerging omicron subvariants, a winter COVID-19 surge may be just around the corner.
“When school resumed and masking was optional, I knew we were going to get pummeled,” Dr. Keri Althoff, associate professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, tells TODAY.com. Althoff, who has three children in elementary school, emphasizes that these viruses can cause significant disruptions to daily life for the entire family along with the actual illness.
“It’s a rare day that I don’t have a work call with someone who has a kid sick at home,” Dr. Megan Ranney, emergency medicine physician and associate dean for strategy and innovation at the Brown School of Public Health, tells TODAY.com. “And that reflects what I’ve seen in the emergency department,” she says.