The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University is offering a glimmer of hope that summer could bring a respite from SARS-CoV-2.
Alaskans looking at a commercial fishing season disrupted by the pandemic coronavirus and a tourist season likely destroyed by it could hardly ask for more as April quicky heads into the May that is the start of the glorious season of the midnight sun.
“The relationship to seasonality and evidence of an association with weather conditions, the concentration of COVID’s impact in a small number of countries and the association with latitude provides evidence that environmental factors impact on the transmission of SARs-CoV-2,” the Centre concluded Monday after a rapid review.
The thinking is that “cold and dry conditions” boost the spread of the disease with warm, humid and sunny conditions doing the opposite.
As is regularity noted in studies of this type, however, correlation is not causation even if there are indications the virus is slowed by sunlight and warmth.
A Spanish scientist and a Finnish colleague in March also noted that “most outbreaks display a pattern of clustering in relatively cool and dry areas. The predecessor SARS-CoV-1 was linked to similar climate conditions. Should the spread of SARS-CoV-2 continue to follow current trends, asynchronous seasonal global outbreaks could be expected.”
Miguel B. Araújo from the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid and Babak Naimi from Helsinki University forecast that the spread of SARS-CoV-2 would be limited by the “ecological constraints” that limit all organisms.
“Building on the concept of ecological niche, we develop projections of monthly
changes in the climate suitability for SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks. Projections are
obtained from an ensemble of 10 familiar machine learning ecological niche
models(, each with 20 replications generated by repeating four times a five-fold
cross-validation that accounts for and enables the quantification of variability
across initial conditions,” they wrote in a paper posted at medRxiv pending peer review.
Check the weather
They found the now-deadly coronavirus survives best in areas with a temperature range of 26 to 55 degrees and sunlight radiation values of 61.07 to 170.96 watts per square meter (W/m²). The sweet spot for the virus is, by their calculations, 42.5 degrees and 112.78 W/m².
A study on the “Solar Radiation Climatology of Alaska” would put the Anchorage Metro area near 112.78 W/m² in March. The average March temperature for the area is 26.6 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
These are not quite ideal conditions for SARS-CoV-2 as calculated by Araújo and Naimi. The sunlight level is near the peak, but the temperature is a little cold.
Conditions would appear to be improving into April, however, with the average monthly temperature rising to 36.8 degrees – just below the 42.5 mean for optimum SARS-CoV-2 survival – and with radiation level remaining below 150 W/m², which is above the calculated optimum level for this virus, but within the range.
By May, however, with that midnight sun on the rise, the solar radiation in the Anchorage area – as well as across most of the state – is up to or over 200 W/m² and the average monthly temperature has hit 47.8.
That temperature is still within the comfort zone for SARS-CoV-2, but by June the average temperature is up to 55.2 – above the coronaviruses zone – with the solar radiation above 200 W/m².
Could this mean that the SARS-CoV-2 burns out in the 49th state summer?
Nobody can know for sure because SARS-CoV-2 is a newly evolved pathogen. It has no track record.
As Araújo and Naimi duly note, climate can exert powerful influences on “virus-transmitted diseases. (But) of course, not all viruses are climate determined. HIV/AIDS, for example, is not affected by external climatic factors. The virus is transmitted by sexual intercourse, blood transfusions, or from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding, so it never leaves the host’s internal environmental conditions.”
Most scientists expect this SARS-CoV-2 to behave more like the original SARS – now known as SARS-CoV-2 – than HIV. SARS-CoV-2, Araújo and Naimi wrote, “involves aerial transmissions of respiratory droplets or fomites, exposing the virus to external environmental conditions in which transmissions take place.
“Our models fitted on the existing pattern of spread (of SARS-CoV-2) between January and March 2020, support the view that incidence of the virus could follow a seasonal climate pattern with outbreaks generally being favored by cool and dry weather, while being slowed down by extreme conditions of both cold and heat as well as moist.
“Prevalence of respiratory disease outbreaks, such as influenza, during wintering conditions is common. But the similarity of climate determination of SARS-CoV-2 with
its predecessor SARS-CoV-1 and even MERS-CoV is noteworthy, raising
reasonable expectations that fundamental traits shared by at least these three
coronavirus might be conserved.”
The climate-related predictions of Araújo and Naimi as to when the disease might blow up do appear to track well with conditions in the Seattle area, site of the first big U.S. outbreak, and those in the New York and Boston areas, the sites of later huge outbreaks.
The Centre’s “rapid review” offered this observation:
“The lack of viral activity in countries with high temperature and high relative humidity might explain why they do not have major community outbreaks of SARS, and why they have found it easier to manage the SARs-CoV-2 outbreak.”
Hong Kong researchers concluded “low temperature and low humidity environment(s) may facilitate its transmission…in subtropical areas (such as Hong Kong) during the spring and in air-conditioned environments. It may also explain why some Asian countries in tropical areas (such as Malaysia, Indonesia or Thailand) with high temperature and high relative humidity environments did not have major community outbreaks of SARS.”
The temperature at this time in Hong Kong is up in the 70s and 80s, and the humidity has climbed to near 60 percent. Hong Kong is reporting no new cases of COVID-19.
There are reasons to hope Alaska’s friendlier season could bring some relief from the threat of pandemic disease, but the outliers caution against getting too carried away.
Generally warm and sunny Spain has now endured one of the most-extreme lockdowns in Europe only to see its death rate climb to 510 per million – about three times the current death rate in the U.S. and more than double the death rate in Sweden, which has stirred some controversy in Europe, and journalistic criticism in this country, for refusing to order people to isolate in their homes.
Thought came today.. Maybe the whole or at least some of the reason for this BS world shutdown, was to condition the younger generations so that this type of government action is normalized to them. Sure did help when a lot of the older generations played along without even questioning it, with some of them even asking for more of it, please.
It’s way easier to take the next steps towards one world government aka new world order with conditioned citizens. I would imagine they were rather pleased with the results……
You got it Zip…
It is called a “beta test” and the “power elites” around the world watched to see how long it would take for Americans to protest their loss of liberties.
Amen Zip. The younger gen favors Socialism to. Talking to a grown man. A liberal Den who said we need to get rid of the Electoral College saying Hillary would have won. I had to explain to him why we have it. Total lib dolt!!! Stupid, yes elitist at the same time.
For your viewing pleasure..
The big take away from this current fiasco is that Governors across the country (including ours) were quick to infringe upon our civil liberties and order fascist lockdowns.
We are now seeing as these “shelter in place” orders are challenged in court that they are not constitutional in America.
The China model will not work here no matter what real or imagined threat “they” present.
Small businesses and local economies will take years to recover from this latest example of government overreach.
“Illinois governor exceeded authority with stay-at-home order, judge rules…
We continue now to do what we do best: Live safely, respectfully and … to take certain precautions, but not to be limited by government,” Bailey said…”
I just want to say this..Those can take it any way they want. America is becoming more and more like China. China will NEVER become more like America – EVER!!!
Let that sink in a bit.. Now remember over the years they have MURDRED over 65 MILLION of THEIR OWN PEOPLE..
Unfortunately the media has been beating the propaganda drum pretty hard these days in America.
Other than Independent news sites, I am pretty much finished with media.
This latest flu hysteria has shown me that fear is how China got to where it is today.
Looking at the state of America after 2 months of hardcore, daily fear campaigns…I can honestly say that Orwell hit the nail on the head.
The “double speak” and “news speak” has been rampant these days.
Liberal journalists take talking points from health czars and run with them.
CNN is a corporate commercial for Big Pharma and the medical industrial community.
Look at their poster child: “…Chris Cuomo now claims that he was “past quarantine” as long ago as April 12.
This is either a lie or an inadvertent admission of another lie that he broadcast on April 20 when he staged his coronavirus resurrection.”
We are entering into the realm of an authoritarian society where MSM from the U.S.A. is no more reliable than RT or Aljazzera…it is not so much that media died, it is more like they were “bought out”.
This is where China sees an opportunity as they purchase majority shares in Forbes, movie producers and cinemas accross the country.
Propaganda sells in more ways than one!
I have to say you are on your way to impressing me. It wasn’t long ago you would quote the propaganda from the likes of aljazzera and telesur as if they were real news. I’m glad you are starting to question the lies we are all fed on a daily basis, especially from the obvious propaganda sources. Keep it up.
“The China model will not work here no matter what real or imagined threat “they” present.”. This would be wrong, wrong, wrong.. The Chinese own half of America.. They currently influence that narrative at our universities, “news” media, Hollywood, and have Congress on the payroll. They control all the ingredients to make our vaccines, they control our PPE, they basically control our economy as they make everything. Look at Democrats as the Chinese “Brown Shirts” who would be willing to accommodate Chinese demands at will.
Please do not underestimate them.
Appears that far UVC lights are deadly to the Wuhan flu virus. Better yet, they are relatively safe around people. Put a couple in a high ceiling, point them sideways, ceiling fan running backwards to move air between the lights, and you should be able to sanitize air in a room and better yet, keep it sanitized.
Infections are happening inside, not outside. Cheers –