Will spring weather slow the spread of the coronavirus?

The map of the COVID-19 cases shows that that they are concentrated in temperate areas that have been experiencing winter. Regions that have tropical heat and humidity have seen surprisingly few cases of the virus.

For example consider east Asian countries, the South Korea, which has relatively cold winters, has had the largest number of cases (7869 cases, with 66 deaths) while the Philippines has seen relatively few (52 case, 2 deaths). Early spring weather may also be helping to reduce the number of cases in Wuhan and southern China.

In the US, the worst outbreaks have been in Washington state, California, and the New York City area which have low indoor relative humidity. More humid areas such as Florida (29 cases, no deaths) and Puerto Rico (zero cases or deaths) have seen far fewer cases even though they are popular destinations for foreign tourists.

Cold winter weather results in low relative humidity inside heating buildings, which is seen the annual flu season the US. There is also evidence that higher relative humidity reduces the spread of airborne viruses:


Warmth and humidity will return to the eastern US and Europe in coming weeks. That should help to slow the spread of the disease in those areas. Of course, any benefits will be temporary and the virus may come back with a vengeance in with the return of colder weather in the fall.

Do you think that humid conditions will reduce the spread of the coronavirus?

What implications are there for fighting the spread of the virus if spread is strongly related to climate conditions?

We will all be fortunate if weather slows the spread of the coronavirus but, honestly, how can anyone here claim to know that will happen? Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

The humidity effect is just an educated guess at this point, but it may help to prioritize responses to the virus.

How does an educated guess help one set priorities?

If it does, then the governments of the world had better start getting their â– â– â– â–  together and use the time we will have gained to prepare for a Wave 2 which will almost certainly hit in the fall/winter.

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It may help in evaluating the effectiveness of the response. A reduced number of cases in Italy or New York may be because of changing weather and not just because of lockdowns.

Yes, we need to plan for a second wave in fall.

The seasonal effect may simply delay the epidemic by several months.

What evidence do you have that the number of cases in New York has reduced?

Why ask, since he didn’t say they had been.

Look at the quote I included. The statement about the reduction of cases in New York is right there.

Rain has a way of washing a lot of nastiness away. People used to worship the rain.

No, a hypothetical future tense was there. Could have been clearer but I understood it.

So you’re hoping rain just makes it go away

First sidekick of the morning has reported in to talk about little ol’ me again.

Good morning, sidekicks.


Clarification: If the number of new cases go down in Italy or New York, spring weather may be partially responsible for it. A risk is that the summer will be bring very few cases, and authorities will declare victory only to have the virus return even worse in November.

I think that a possible way of reducing the spread of the virus would be to use humidifiers in airports, air planes, train station, trains, buses, etc. Higher humidity should significantly reduce the risk of transmission, and there is little risk it causing unexpected problem if the humidifiers are properly cleaned.

Not what he said dude.

If we get this warm weather reprieve every single person on these boards…Republican, Democrat, Independent, Trump supporter, Trump hater…had better be on the phone, email, social media, whatever, DEMANDING that instead of doing a victory lap, the President and state and local governments start with the assumption this thing WILL come back in the fall…likely with a vengeance, and spend the time NOW preparing for it.

As long as we have no effective treatments…as long as we have no vaccine…we remain vulnerable.

The first Spanish Flu wave was relatively benign.

The second wave was a super killer.

We HAVE to be ready.

And you just know that if this thing fades in the summer the President’s impulse will be to declare victory and start to forget about it. If you even think about denying that, you are kidding yourself.

In the meantime we could also use such a break collecting as much data as we can to estimate the likelihood of it coming back.

I had to laugh at that one. It’s been raining 90% of the time in GA for about 2 1/2 months now - yet the virus is multiplying like a bunch of rabbits.

Yes, the any benefit from summer weather will disappear in the fall.

In the meantime, we need to get the testing system working. We need to develop a better system for tracking people who may have been exposed, and we need contingency plans for overloaded hospitals. Ideally we need to develop an approved vaccine by next fall if at all possible.

The economic costs of continued lockdowns are enormous.

The two biggest hot spots in the nation about to consider doing the precise OPPOSITE of what they should be doing.

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