History of Pandemics; Will Covid-19 Slow Down in Summer?


Paul Beckwith

Mar 17, 2020

Throughout human history, as we spread across the world we have had infectious diseases as a constant companion. Outbreaks continue to happen, even more frequently in our modern era. First, I discuss a timeline over the last 2000 years and chat about some of histories most deadly pandemics, including the biggies such as Black Death (Bubonic Plague); with 200 million dead (30-50% of Europe); smallpox killing 90% of Native Americans, and the Spanish flu. Next I discuss what we know about seasonal cycles of many infectious diseases, and then some recent papers considering whether Covid-19 may be seasonal, perhaps weakening as we head to Northern Hemisphere summer.

Will the Coronavirus Pandemic Weaken in the Northern Hemisphere as we move into Summer?


Paul Beckwith

Mar 17, 2020

I discuss a new scientific paper that examines the present coronavirus spread and shows correlations of the hardest hit regions to temperature and humidity changes with latitude. This is only one paper, but it seems to indicate that the hardest hit regions are within an average temperature band from 5C to 11C, with low specific humidity (3-6 g/kg) and absolute humidity (4-7 g/cm3). If this is confirmed in subsequent scientific studies then it could indicate that Covid-19 is a seasonal respiratory virus. Promising (since it would slow down in summer); but too early to tell for sure at the moment.

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