Misconceptions about weather hampered Covid-19 response: Study
File photo: KM/Umar Ganie
We have read several stories about weather and its impact on novel coronavirus and now, researchers say misconceptions about the way climate and weather drive exposure and transmission to the virus have actually created false confidence and have adversely shaped risk perceptions.
Since the first weeks of the pandemic, substantial scientific and public attention has focused on how the weather could reduce or alter Covid-19 transmission.
“Weather probably influences Covid-19 transmission, but not at a scale sufficient to outweigh the effects of lockdowns or re-openings in populations,” said the study authors from the Georgetown University in the US.
The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, revealed that future scientific work on this politically-fraught topic needs a more careful approach.
The research team said current messaging on social media and elsewhere “obscures key nuances” of the science around Covid-19 and seasonality.
The authors strongly discourage policy tailored to current understandings of the Covid-climate link.
The researchers revealed that no human-settled area in the world is protected from Covid-19 transmission by virtue of weather, at any point in the year.
Many scientists expect Covid-19 to become seasonal in the long term, conditional on a significant level of immunity, but that condition may be unmet in some regions, depending on the success of outbreak containment.
All pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions are currently believed to have a stronger impact on transmission over space and time than any environmental driver.
“With current scientific data, Covid-19 interventions cannot currently be planned around seasonality,” the authors concluded.
Recently, a study, published in journal Aerosol and Air Quality Research, reported that an Indian-German team of scientists found that the airborne transmission of Covid-19 virus via aerosol particles in the indoor environment seems to be strongly influenced by relative humidity.