Share on Pinterest Experts say safety measures such as wearing a mask can help reduce droplet transmission of colds, influenza, and COVID-19. Luis Alvarez/Getty ImagesExperts say the safety protocols used to reduce risk during the COVID-19 pandemic can help protect you from colds and flu this fall and winter. They explain that colds, flu, and COVID-19 are all spread by droplet transmission. “Cold and flu, COVID-19 — they’re all respiratory viruses. The transmission of respiratory illnesses is divided into two categories: droplet transmission and airborne transmission.