In recent months, the COVID-19 pandemic has surged in Europe, the United States, and some other areas. In many regions, this surge began coincident with a transition towards colder weather.
The transition to colder weather has corresponded with an increase in the spread of COVID-19 cases. This is consistent with an epidemic that moved, on average, from an approximately stable rate of spread to a rate of spread that doubled every 20 days. It is plausible that weather changes, such as decreasing temperature or sunlight, and the associated human responses to these changes have directly and/or indirectly contributed to the recent resurgence of COVID-19.
How does the COVID-19 virus spread faster due to cold temperatures?
With a return of colder weather, environmental conditions and associated human behaviors may have allowed COVID-19 to spread more easily. This could occur either because the virus itself is sensitive to environmental conditions (e.g. if temperature and/or humidity affect the virus’s longevity in the environment), or because humans behave differently in cold weather (e.g. spending more time clustered together indoors), or both. For convenience, environmental effects on the transmissibility of the virus itself can be termed “direct effects,” and effects on human behavior that impact the disease’s spreads can be termed “indirect effects”.
Initially, COVID-19 surged worldwide in March and April, corresponding to spring in the Northern Hemisphere. During the warm months that followed, many nations and regions managed to greatly reduce their local COVID-19 epidemic when compared to the spring, but most have subsequently seen a resurgence in late fall https://theconversation.com/does-coronavirus-spread-more-easily-in-cold-temperatures-heres-what-we-know-148465.
Where does most COVID-19 infection take place due to the cold temperatures?
If the weather is affecting COVID-19 transmission, it is presumed that indirect effects are likely to be a major factor. While temperature might directly affect the longevity or transmissibility of the virus, it is well established that most infections occur in indoor spaces where outdoor temperatures would have no direct impact.
However, if cooling weather drives individuals to spend more time indoors, then that may increase the number of opportunities for virus transmission. Similarly, populations that rely on open windows for cooling during summer may have less indoor ventilation during cool weather.
We consider it likely that a majority of any weather effect on COVID-19 transmission is primarily the result of indirect effects on human behavior. However, we will note that laboratory studies have indicated that the coronavirus remains viable on surfaces longer at lower temperatures.
Many experts predict higher rates of transmission and mortality in colder seasons. This is likely due to the impact cold weather has on human behavior, such as forcing people inside where higher temperatures are preferred and ventilation is not sufficient to combat the spread of the virus. With groups of people congregating in confined spaces with limited airflow, the virus is able to circulate more easily https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/how-does-weather-affect-covid-19.
How do we mitigate further spread of the COVID-19 virus?
To mitigate the spread of the virus especially in cold regions healthcare professionals are urging people to get tested and vaccinated. Testing has now become digitized as one can do so using an app, an example being the DOCSUN Mobile App which one can do at the comfort of their home. This app does not require one to give their genetic matter. They only allow the app to scan their face. This goes along way in making people aware on measures they can take depending on their COVID-19 status. The ones who are infected with the COVID-19 virus can seek medical attention on how to reduce further infection and those who are not infected can take up further measures to make sure they don’t get infected with the COVID-19 virus especially during the cold season. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W15uASLerho