Literatus: O God, do not let it snow

Zosimo T. Literatus
·2 min read

A small tropical multiple island country like ours has provided Filipinos some natural advantages against Sars-CoV-2 infection.

Environmental difference appears to be the sole intervening factor.

Historically, it has been established that weather and climate significantly influence the transmission of infectious diseases like Covid-19. Wind speed and rainfall can change the way these diseases are transmitted. Temperature and humidity can change a Filipino’s susceptibility to the coronavirus. Meanwhile, all of the above factors can change the survival rate of a virus in the environment.

Two Australian researchers—Hannah McClymont and Wenbiao Hu from the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane—reported their findings in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health last month.

They found that countries of low temperatures, specifically those with temperatures between 0 to 17 degrees Centigrade, have the highest incidence of Covid-19 infection. This means that as temperature increases the lower the infection incidence will be.

The Philippines right now has a temperature hovering between 29 to 30 degrees Centigrade despite recurring rain showers. This means that we have around 70 percent less susceptibility to Covid-19 infection than those in temperate countries. It means that we must thank God for not giving us snow any time of the year.

Second, humidity increases the incidence of Covid-19 infection. In this factor, Filipinos do not have the advantage. In fact, in recent days, rain showers have been common, happening almost every day. The good thing is the results are mixed. This means that not all countries with high rainfall experiences had increased Covid-19 infection rate. That is where our hope is.

Meanwhile, wind speed and rainfall showed no reliable association with Covid-19 transmission. This means that our strongest edge, as a country, is our higher temperature levels every day.

Perhaps, next time we sweat it out we must raise our heads up high and thank God for it.