Thanks in part to COVID-19 public health directives — mask-wearing, social distancing and hand-washing — this year’s flu season was nearly stamped out. While several hundred Hawaii residents typically die every year from the flu, there has only been one death this season, a patient over age 80, according to the state Department of Health. Also helping to keep the flu at bay were low travel rates and remote employment and schooling.
Nationally, there were about 600 flu-related deaths during the 2020-2021 season, according to federal data. By comparison, the flu has killed about 12,000 to 61,000 people a year since 2010.