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Community the corona virus continued  will the weather help us beat it  | Upload Society

The Corona Virus Continued: Will The Weather Help Us Beat It?

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by: Sharai Hoekema
the corona virus continued  will the weather help us beat it  | Upload

Despite many people thinking that they figured it out or that it is clear-cut, the link between the Corona virus and the weather is definitely not clearly established. For once, looking at the world map tracking the spread of the disease, the northern hemisphere seems to have been hit a lot harder than its southern counterpart. 

Underdeveloped Health Care Keeping Numbers Down

In particular, South America and Africa seem to suffer less. Granted, there have been identified cases on these continents, but the spread and intensity seems to be lower than it is elsewhere.

Of course, there are always explanations. One of the more remarkable ones is that perhaps health care is not as developed in those countries, meaning that there might already be a sub-Saharan Corona hotspot that we are simply not aware of yet. Only two countries in Africa have the capacity of testing for Corona, which means that it could already be running rampant, as far as we know.

Given the tight relationship between Africa and China, it surely is a possibility. Although there is another, perhaps more appealing, explanation. One that infers that the weather is somehow capable of influencing the virus. President Trump certainly seems to think so, as he claims that the virus is bound to go away in the next month or so, once the weather gets better. 



                                                            Will Warm Weather Stop the Coronavirus?

Corona Season Or All Year Round Disease

And as much as I enjoy mocking the United States’ supreme leader, there might be more truth to his words than you might suspect. Looking at the ‘regular’ flu, for instance, it is well-documented that most instances are in the winter months, between October and March. In the spring and summer months, it seems to dissipate.

The causes for these typical flu seasons are well-researched. Those who gave it its name, “influenza”, might already have been on to something: this is Italian for influenza di freddo, or influence of the cold. This does not mean that the cold causes the flu. Viruses do. Yet the cold can certainly be a contributing factor. There have been some indications that viruses are able to survive better in colder, drier climates - thriving in European and American winters, and not doing nearly as good in humid, hotter regions.

Recomended: Coronavirus, COVID-19 Symptoms Flu And Global Climate Change

Correlation Between Weather And Spread Of Viruses

For starters, during the winter, people spend more time indoors and in closer proximity to one another. With the windows closed and people huddled together, you are more likely to breathe in the same air - making it easier to contract a virus. At the same time, the shorter days and lack of sunlight decreases our levels of vitamin D and melatonin, which compromises our immune systems and weakens our natural defences.

As for the dry air, it has been hypothesised that this correlates with an impairment of the mucus in your nose and throat. This mucus plays a crucial role in catching, trapping and expelling potential viruses that are about to enter your body. Once the air gets colder and drier, the mucus becomes less gooey and thus less efficient, allowing viruses easier access. 

These reasons listed above certainly add to the spread of any virus, including the Corona virus. While none of these necessary cause it, they certainly make it a lot easier for any virus to go around.

Weather Might Dissipate Corona Virus Faster Than We Can

Thus, logic seems to dictate that once the weather gets better, the Corona virus will not stand as much of a chance. People will start going outside more and opening their windows instead of cranking up the heating. Outside, the rays of the sun will provide them with higher amounts of vitamin D and boost their immune system. 

The rising humidity will make for healthier and more effective mucus. And finally, the warmer weather will make it harder for the virus to survive outside of their hosts: increased UV light will break down nucleic acid, in doing so, sterilising surfaces and preventing survival. It is not surprising that UV light is often used in hospitals to sterilise equipment.

The climate of countries that are hit the hardest, including China, South Korea and Northern Italy, seem to agree with those findings - indicating that they also hold true for the Corona virus. Their current weather is cold and dry, the ideal combination for a rapid spread. 

The Jury Is Still Out: Seasonality Debated

It is, however, still too early to say how this particular virus will behave in warmer weather. Scientists are unsure and do not dare to claim that warmer weather will wipe out our worries, in line with the reasoning shared above. Yes, the Corona virus and the flu have a lot in common - the symptoms, the way of spreading, the way in which it affects the respiratory system. Yet there have been examples of similar viruses lacking this seasonality.

Take SARS and MERS, for instance. Both share more than 90% of their DNA with the ‘regular’ flu. However, SARS was only contained in July 2003, largely thanks to early intervention measures - but after having survived the spring and most of the summer. MERS actually started in regions known for their heat and humidity - most notably the Middle East. Thus, it is hard to argue those are seasonal, which could mean that the Corona virus might be equally resistant to the weather.

We Have To Stop The Spread Of The Disease Ourselves

Truth is, we cannot say if the weather will help us beat this nasty disease. We have to wait and see how it develops in the next few months, in particular how it will affect the Southern Hemisphere as seasons change. Regardless, we cannot rely on the weather alone, as President Trump might be doing so confidently. We are to take action to prevent a further spread of the disease if we do not want it to turn into a full-blown pandemic. 

Thankfully, most countries show very little hesitation when it comes to taking action - even if it means that those actions will severely disrupt daily life and the economy at large. If only we would show the same dedication and vigour when it comes to solving climate change, we would start to get somewhere.

Before you go!

Recommended: Smart Sustainable Lifestyle Changing Tips & Tricks For 2019

Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below.
We try to respond the same day.

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Click on 'Register' or push the button 'Write An Article' on the 'HomePage'

The Corona Virus Continued: Will The Weather Help Us Beat It?

Despite many people thinking that they figured it out or that it is clear-cut, the link between the Corona virus and the weather is definitely not clearly established. For once, looking at the world map tracking the spread of the disease, the northern hemisphere seems to have been hit a lot harder than its southern counterpart.   Underdeveloped Health Care Keeping Numbers Down In particular, South America and Africa seem to suffer less. Granted, there have been identified cases on these continents, but the spread and intensity seems to be lower than it is elsewhere. Of course, there are always explanations. One of the more remarkable ones is that perhaps health care is not as developed in those countries, meaning that there might already be a sub-Saharan Corona hotspot that we are simply not aware of yet. Only two countries in Africa have the capacity of testing for Corona, which means that it could already be running rampant, as far as we know. Given the tight relationship between Africa and China, it surely is a possibility. Although there is another, perhaps more appealing, explanation. One that infers that the weather is somehow capable of influencing the virus. President Trump certainly seems to think so, as he claims that the virus is bound to go away in the next month or so, once the weather gets better.   {youtube}                                                             Will Warm Weather Stop the Coronavirus? Corona Season Or All Year Round Disease And as much as I enjoy mocking the United States’ supreme leader, there might be more truth to his words than you might suspect. Looking at the ‘regular’ flu, for instance, it is well-documented that most instances are in the winter months, between October and March. In the spring and summer months, it seems to dissipate. The causes for these typical flu seasons are well-researched. Those who gave it its name, “influenza”, might already have been on to something: this is Italian for influenza di freddo, or influence of the cold. This does not mean that the cold causes the flu. Viruses do. Yet the cold can certainly be a contributing factor. There have been some indications that viruses are able to survive better in colder, drier climates - thriving in European and American winters, and not doing nearly as good in humid, hotter regions. Recomended:  Coronavirus, COV ID-19 Sympto ms F lu And Global Climate Change Correlation Between Weather And Spread Of Viruses For starters, during the winter, people spend more time indoors and in closer proximity to one another. With the windows closed and people huddled together, you are more likely to breathe in the same air - making it easier to contract a virus. At the same time, the shorter days and lack of sunlight decreases our levels of vitamin D and melatonin, which compromises our immune systems and weakens our natural defences. As for the dry air, it has been hypothesised that this correlates with an impairment of the mucus in your nose and throat. This mucus plays a crucial role in catching, trapping and expelling potential viruses that are about to enter your body. Once the air gets colder and drier, the mucus becomes less gooey and thus less efficient, allowing viruses easier access.   These reasons listed above certainly add to the spread of any virus, including the Corona virus. While none of these necessary cause it, they certainly make it a lot easier for any virus to go around. Weather Might Dissipate Corona Virus Faster Than We Can Thus, logic seems to dictate that once the weather gets better, the Corona virus will not stand as much of a chance. People will start going outside more and opening their windows instead of cranking up the heating. Outside, the rays of the sun will provide them with higher amounts of vitamin D and boost their immune system.   The rising humidity will make for healthier and more effective mucus. And finally, the warmer weather will make it harder for the virus to survive outside of their hosts: increased UV light will break down nucleic acid, in doing so, sterilising surfaces and preventing survival. It is not surprising that UV light is often used in hospitals to sterilise equipment. The climate of countries that are hit the hardest, including China, South Korea and Northern Italy, seem to agree with those findings - indicating that they also hold true for the Corona virus. Their current weather is cold and dry, the ideal combination for a rapid spread.   The Jury Is Still Out: Seasonality Debated It is, however, still too early to say how this particular virus will behave in warmer weather. Scientists are unsure and do not dare to claim that warmer weather will wipe out our worries, in line with the reasoning shared above. Yes, the Corona virus and the flu have a lot in common - the symptoms, the way of spreading, the way in which it affects the respiratory system. Yet there have been examples of similar viruses lacking this seasonality. Take SARS and MERS, for instance. Both share more than 90% of their DNA with the ‘regular’ flu. However, SARS was only contained in July 2003, largely thanks to early intervention measures - but after having survived the spring and most of the summer. MERS actually started in regions known for their heat and humidity - most notably the Middle East. Thus, it is hard to argue those are seasonal, which could mean that the Corona virus might be equally resistant to the weather. We Have To Stop The Spread Of The Disease Ourselves Truth is, we cannot say if the weather will help us beat this nasty disease. We have to wait and see how it develops in the next few months, in particular how it will affect the Southern Hemisphere as seasons change. Regardless, we cannot rely on the weather alone, as President Trump might be doing so confidently. We are to take action to prevent a further spread of the disease if we do not want it to turn into a full-blown pandemic.   Thankfully, most countries show very little hesitation when it comes to taking action - even if it means that those actions will severely disrupt daily life and the economy at large. If only we would show the same dedication and vigour when it comes to solving climate change, we would start to get somewhere. Before you go! Recommended:  Smart Sustainable Lifestyle Changing Tips & Tricks For 2019 Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about the coronavirus? Click on  'Re g ister'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
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