Some people believe that public health measures against COVID-19, including masking and social distancing, have resulted in children getting more sick now because of a weakened immune system. Experts disagree about whether “immunity debt” is a real phenomenon or convenient pseudoscience.
Public health measures designed to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus may have fostered a substantial side benefit: A 53 percent drop in hospital admissions for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), likely due to a drop in circulating seasonal respiratory viruses such as influenza.
A new Houston Methodist study shows a rapid return of seasonal respiratory viruses after COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed in Texas, demonstrating the apparent effectiveness of masking, distancing and other precautionary measures at stopping the spread of respiratory illnesses. This rise in infections to pre-pandemic levels followed updated governmental guidelines lifting mask, distancing and occupancy requirements.