Florida has warm, muggy weather, especially once we get into May and the months that follow.
Science tells us that viruses do not thrive in hotter weather.
So, the heat should burn away the coronavirus soon, particularly in Florida, right?
Not so fast.
While influenza virus has been shown to be affected by weather, it is unknown if COVID19 is similarly affected — there’s simply not enough “good” data available to indicate whether warm weather will slow the spread of the virus. Basically, the virus is too new to allow prediction of how weather will impact the spread of disease, and that increased number of cases will be the result of increased testing and increased spread and less based on the weather.
The best approach remains to stay at home as much as possible (setting your thermostat wherever you like), following the new statewide declaration as much as possible, limit contact with others and engage in social distancing if you have to go out.
A pair of MIT scientists have hypothesized that “the lower number of cases in tropical countries might be due to warm humid conditions, under which the spread of the virus might be slower as has been observed for other viruses.”
But, Qasim Bukahari and Yusuf Jameel cautioned, “The underlying reasoning behind this relationship is still not clear. Our key findings are that so far at absolute humidity levels above 10 g/m3 (about 55 percent), the spread of the cases appears to be slower than at places with absolute humidity levels less than 10 g/m3.”
However, European and American cities “will most likely not see lowering of cases due to climate,” Jameel cautioned.
Researchers from AccuWeather also found that countries with warmer and more humid climates, like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and other southeast Asian countries saw a lower growth rate — but it’s unclear if that’s a result of lower amounts of testing, as reports of hospitals overrun with patients would be a red flag to that being the case.