Because of COVID-19, our everyday life has been put on hold, and everyone wants to know when it will all stop. When is the pandemic going to be over, and when is everything going to be safe again?
There have been some new studies on Coronavirus that are saying that the virus is not spreading that effective in regions of the world where the climate is hot, and the humidity is high. The scientists are still doing their research, and nothing is yet certain, but we can see what awaits us in the warmer months ahead of us.
Scientists from the Institute of Technology in Massachusetts analyzed the number of global cases of COVID-19. They found out that 90 % of people that are infected are in the regions where the temperature is between 3 and 17 degrees Celsius and where the humidity is between 4 and 9 grams per square meter.
In countries where the average temperature is higher than 18 degrees Celius and the humidity is higher than 9 grams per square meter, there are only 6 % of the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide.
It means that the spreading of the Coronavirus is less efficient in the warmer regions. Also, humidity plays an important role. The majority of the people infected by the virus are from areas of the planet with lower humidity.
But that also doesn’t mean that people that are living in those countries shouldn’t practice social distancing, or that when summer comes, it won’t be necessary to social distance from others or that it would be okay to go to parties and bars.
For the most significant part of North America and Europe, the effect of the humidity on the spreading of the virus will be minor until June, because then it will be over 9 grams per square meter.
But if there are many infected people before the warmer months and higher humidity, then warmer months are not going to do anything, because those months don’t last long.
Some other scientists are convinced that the summer months won’t help and that the virus won’t stop then.
Doctor William Shafner, a specialist for the infective diseases from the Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, says that he doesn’t believe that the virus will be stopped during the summer months. But that gives some hope to the people.
The spread of influenza viruses and other respiratory viruses slows down and decreases at high temperatures and when the humidity is high. However, it is not yet clear why’s that the case.
When you look at the virus under a microscope, you will see that it is surrounded by a microscopic sphere of moisture called a droplet. And when the humidity is low in the winter, this sphere evaporates, and the virus can then hover in the air for a long time because the gravity will not pull it toward the ground. And that’s one of the explanations why viruses are easily transmitted in the winter period.
Schaffner also explained that in summer, when a person exhales a viral particle, the droplet surrounding the virus does not evaporate, making the virus heavier and more manageable for gravity to pull it down. It means that people are not able to be infected so quickly, like in the winter, because the virus doesn’t hover in the air for as long as it does in the winter.
There is flu in the summer, but the spreading of it is slower than in winter months.
Schaffner also said that we couldn’t count on this fact that warmer months with higher humidity will slow the spread of Coronavirus and that everything will be okay then.