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Ross: A hidden victory in controlling the coronavirus

In this file photo taken June 17, 2020, a customer, wearing a face mask because of the coronavirus outbreak, puts in an order at a bakery in Yakima, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

The coronavirus news has been thoroughly depressing so I thought we could use a little encouragement – and it comes from Dr. Keith Jerome, who directs the virology lab at the University of Washington. Usually, it’s his job to warn us that the virus is mutating, that it’s wildly contagious, and that vaccines may not be totally effective.

But this week, he can report a hidden victory:

“Every day, I get an email from the lab, it’s just set up automatically, and it says, ‘What respiratory viruses have we detected in Seattle today?’ In a typical year about this time, we’d see a couple of flus, a couple of viruses, some other things,” Jerome said. “Every day for probably the last six to eight weeks, that report says ‘no new positives.'”

“Frankly, this physical distancing we’re doing, the masking, the hand washing, we’ve done an amazing job sort of getting all the less infectious viruses under control.”

And this is happening in a lot of cities. So if you’re looking for hard evidence that all this personal buffering can work …

Even though it hasn’t yet been enough to stop COVID, the data shows that pretty much every OTHER respiratory infection, including the flu, has given up!

So well done, America! Just don’t celebrate by packing into a bar.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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