The cold and flu viruses that many have avoided while staying at home and social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic will likely run rampant again as masks come off and schools reopen, reports STAT News

A curious thing happened during the Covid-19 pandemic: With masks, social distancing, and Purell galore, we kept most other germs at bay.

Flu vanished. Cases of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, which in a normal winter puts nearly 60,000 children under age 5 in the hospital, were nonexistent. Most of us appeared to sidestep the soup of bugs that cause colds.

But as masks come off, schools reopen, and some travel resumes, we should expect a resurgence of these viruses — perhaps a big one. Some experts fear we’re in for a nasty cold-and-flu season or two, pointing to a combination of factors that could make for a rough re-entry to the mixed microbes world.

Read more in STAT News