As Covid cases continue to rise and the temps start to drop, there is discussion on weather being a factor contributing to the increase. However, we ask – is it the weather that affects the virus or human behavior that is affected by the weather?
Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin say “the novel coronavirus spreads with about the same efficiency regardless of air temperature and humidity”. Scientists say social interaction and human behavior, remains the biggest factor in the spread of COVID-19. As stated by Dr. Aaron Glatt, chair of the department of medicine at Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital in New York “It’s not what the temperature does, it’s what the temperature makes people do”. Basically, when it’s warm out, people spend more time outside, where disease transmission is limited, but when its cold outside, we tend to spend more time indoors together, causing higher risk of Covid transmission.
Cold Weather Holidays
With the temps starting to drop, most of us are forced to gather indoors. And with the holidays upon us, there are increased risks to consider if you have plans with family and friends for Thanksgiving. Most of the governors are proposing outside gatherings do not exceed 50 people and inside gatherings do not exceed 10 people. The fear is that Thanksgiving gatherings will increase the chance that the virus will spread and infect more people. If this happens, we will see a substantial increase in COVID cases before Christmas.
The Next Few Months
We continue to hear the promising news that there are two vaccines in the pipeline that could possibly make their debut with in the next few months, for the first tier of people who qualify. In the meantime, it is up to us to do our part to lower the amount of people becoming infected with COVID. Let’s work together and remain vigilant because the surge of the virus shows no signs of letting up.
Until such time that there is a vaccine for everyone, the CDC, Governors, and medical professionals suggest limiting exposure to COVID by following some simple steps to help protect ourselves and others around us.
- Clean your hands often, either with soap and water for 20 seconds or a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid crowds and keep some distance (at least 6 feet.)
- Wear a mask to cover your mouth and nose when around others, especially in public settings.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces daily.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Recognize the symptoms
- Take care of your mental health