Mask wearing, social distancing, and the myriad of other precautions, put in place to fight the COVID pandemic, made the influenza virus, what we refer to as the common flu, virtually nonexistent over the 2020/2021 flu season. An unfortunate side effect of the increased availability of COVID vaccines and booster shots, is that precautions that suppressed the common flu are being abandoned. There are concerns that the common flu will make a grand return over the 2021/2022 flu season. It's aggravating not to know what to expect, but, in recent memory, there hasn't been a season where the common flu and colds were suppressed to the point of nonexistence. The entire world is basically participating in a huge experiment.
Flu season runs from October to May and regularly claims tens of thousands of lives. Not only were the overall cases of influenza low, but the hospitalizations were the lowest since doctors began recording that data in 2005. It wasn't just COVID precautions that suppressed last years flu season; last year also saw a record number of common flu vaccines administered.