A panel made up by infectious disease experts from the National Academies of Sciences reported to the White House that the warmer weather is unlikely to diminish the coronavirus, and task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci concurs.
Early assumptions by disease experts were hopeful that the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, would react similar to influenza and that it would begin to diminish once the weather became warmer and more humid.
However, more and more, data is showing that the coronavirus is unlike influenza, being much more contagious and deadly among other factors.
Now, a panel made up of roughly a dozen members of the Academies’ Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats, convened by the National Academies of Sciences, issued a report finding that the novel coronavirus is unlikely to diminish with the arrival of warmer weather.
The study was given to the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
“There is some evidence to suggest that SARS-CoV-2 may transmit less efficiently in environments with higher ambient temperature and humidity; however, given the lack of host immunity globally, this reduction in transmission efficiency may not lead to a significant reduction in disease spread” without mitigation measures, such as social distancing,” the report stated.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, agreed with the findings after reviewing the report.
“One should not assume that we are going to be rescued by a change in the weather,” Fauci said during an interview. “You must assume that the virus will continue to do its thing. If we get some help from the weather, so be it, fine. But I don’t think we need to assume that.”
Fauci reiterated the need for regular handwashing and vigilant social distancing.
You don’t need online psychology degrees to realize the obvious: The stress of the coronavirus is taking a toll on both medical workers on the front lines of the battle, as well as the general public who are being held in isolation in their homes.
Medical workers are dealing with the issue on a variety of fronts: Their personal health is in danger as they are stressed from a lack of protective equipment, and watching patient after patient die before their very eyes.
All the while, medical workers also have to deal with having to isolate themselves from their own families, and in some cases have already infected their family members and having to live with the guilt that comes from accidental transmission to their loved ones.
According to a study published in the medical journal JAMA in March, 50.4% of medical workers in China dealing with COVID-19 patients were suffering from symptoms of depression, while 44.6% had symptoms of anxiety.
The numbers are likely to be similar in the US.
Several states have already rolled out mental health hotlines to aid those who are suffering. As of April 11, Illinois launched a mental crisis hotline, Call4Calm, reporting that the state was already seen nearly 20,000 mental health cases.
At the same time, health experts in Connecticut said the state there was facing a psychological emergency due to forced isolation. Experts in Massachusetts are reporting the same.
Many mental health professionals are starting to advocate for the creation of a system for providing virtual mental health care.