COVID-19 has affected our entire world throughout the spring and summer of 2020, but we all need to brace ourselves for what could be a tough winter.
In fact, we could see a spike in COVID-19 cases as we slog through the cold months, especially as other respiratory illnesses, such as the flu, become more common.
Read on to find out why the winter may be especially difficult due to the global pandemic we’re all living in.
Like other respiratory viruses, cases typically tend to spike when the weather is cold and dry. While it’s unclear how COVID-19 will respond to cold weather, it is a respiratory virus.
“It’s well known that many respiratory viruses have seasonality,” said Akiko Iwasaki, a professor of immunology at Yale University.
“And so, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s actually elevated transmission during the winter months from COVID.”
As most of us know, COVID-19 is spread when people breathe, talk, sneeze, or cough and the droplets contaminate the area.
Because there’s low humidity in the winter, these droplets will be able to evaporate into aerosol particles that linger in the air, which would increase the likelihood of airborne transmission.
While it’s been unfortunate to see restaurants struggle due to restrictions on indoor dining, the warm weather has allowed these businesses to increase outdoor dining.
We’ve all found new ways to do the things we love outdoors, whether that’s seeing a movie at a drive-in or doing yoga in the park, but that won’t really be an option come November (at least in most states). There are only so many hours you can scroll on your Apple I Phone X before you’re ready to see the outside world.
As the temperature starts to drop across the country, more and more people will be forced to do things inside their homes or inside places of business.
“The longer that household contacts are together, the more likely they are to transmit [the virus],” John Lynch, professor of infectious diseases at the University of Washington, said at a press conference.
“When we think about the places where we’re seeing transmissions occur, it’s mostly homes. It’s mostly constrained workplaces where people don’t have the ability to separate from each other.”
Not to mention, a lack of sunshine and low vitamin D levels will weaken the immune system.
This will make it more difficult for people to fight off infections and could cause more people to get sick as a result.
It will be important for people to continue to wear masks, stay six feet apart, and wash their hands as often as possible.