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Wearing a mask and social-distancing should help you this flu season, but you still need a flu shot, local health experts say. (Photo: ~User7565abab_575, Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A lot of the things people are doing to protect themselves from COVID-19 — wearing masks, social-distancing and hand-washing — could reduce the number of influenza cases in 2020-21.

But because the upcoming flu season will coincide with the coronavirus pandemic, it’s never been more vital to get a flu shot, local health experts say.

Generally, the flu season in the southern hemisphere, which runs from April to September and is seen as a predictor of what will happen in northern countries, has been “quite mild” this year, Dr. Michael Apostolakos, chief medical officer at Strong Memorial and Highland hospitals, said last week during a press conference at the Monroe County Health Department.

But there are no guarantees, and we’re still in the