Seasonality and Covid19

Business Insider: Fauci warned that coronavirus could likely become seasonal

I had seen a few twitter references to a relationship between geography, climate and the virus with a quick online search throwing up a preliminary un-peer-reviewed analysis with very early data: Causal empirical estimates suggest COVID-19 transmission rates are highly seasonal

Using constructions of expected seasonal temperatures, we project that changing temperatures between March 2020 and July 2020 will cause COVID-19 transmission to fall by 43% on average for Northern Hemisphere countries and to rise by 71% on average for Southern Hemisphere countries. However, these patterns reverse as the boreal (northern hemisphere) winter approaches, with seasonal temperatures in January 2021 increasing average COVID-19 transmission by 59% relative to March 2020 in northern countries and lowering transmission by 2% in southern countries. These findings suggest that Southern Hemisphere countries should expect greater transmission in the coming months.

This gives us reason to be cautious about the current exceptional numbers we are now seeing for Australia and New Zealand relative to developed western economies in the northern hemisphere. If correct we need to suppress numbers further through Easter and see what happens when wintery blasts start to sweep through the southern states. Perhaps a reason why suggestions are that measures may need to be in place for up to six months.

What it does suggest also is that there is reason for policy caution about any reopening of domestic toursm and travel through what would be the domestic peak season in FNQ despite current success in supressing virus transmission.



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