America shrugs off its twindemic – Axios

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios
The much-feared twindemic — or even tripledemic — of respiratory viruses is here, but Americans are too COVID-fatigued to care.
The big picture: Flu in the southeast and RSV infections in multiple regions are filling up hospital wards and causing some facilities to cancel elective surgeries and bring back triage tents.
Yes, but: Americans are good at normalizing risk and have been less and less willing to change their personal behavior since the pandemic's Delta wave.
Driving the news: Much of the current focus is on RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, which is affecting high numbers of children and has been straining hospitals for weeks.
Meanwhile, seasonal flu has been surging through the southeast, hospitalizing thousands and stressing some emergency departments and urgent care centers.
The intrigue: COVID is actually the least worrisome piece of the triple threat right now. Cases are down, the new variants seem no deadlier than Omicron, and there are plentiful treatments and vaccines.
Go deeper: Public health experts say another year living with the pandemic threat has left many Americans resolved to use their personal experience as a guide. The question is whether they can sort through ailments with similar symptoms — and see past themselves.
The bottom line: Public opinion polls show about 20% of Americans still worry about the pandemic and public health more broadly, said Ipsos pollster and senior vice president Chris Jackson.
Tina Reed and Caitlin Owens contributed to this report.


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