The new virus on the block ……. SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it can cause COVID-19 are constantly in the news at present. On March 6th, statistics released indicated that 98,000 cases had been confirmed in 88 countries with many experts suggesting that this figure was currently still on the rise. Fortunately only a relatively small percentage of those that are infected have died, but none the less, it is unfortunately causing a considerable amount of public panic.
But and it is a big but, there may be a light on the distant horizon. As spring and eventually summer arrive will we start to see a decline in numbers especially here in the Northern Hemisphere? Obviously we all hope that this will happen and some professionals think that it is more than likely. John Nicholls a pathology Professor at Hong Kong University, reckons that he can predict when the corona virus will start to become inactive. He postulates that there are three things that the corona virus does not like, these are sunlight, high temperature and high humidity.
Those of us that understand Ayurveda can see the sense behind correctly balancing the Doshic principles of Vata, Pitta and Kapha during any healing process. In this case we can attribute sunlight and the open air to the principle of Vata, high temperature to Pitta and the principle of moist humidity to Kapha.
John Nicholls estimates that sunlight may be effective at stopping the corona virus growing by approximately 50%. Ian Lipkin who is the Director of The Columbia University Center for Infection and Immunity has also been studying the effect of sunlight on the corona virus. He suggests that UV light from the sun breaks down viral nucleic acid. If you are out in open air and sunlight, it’s generally “cleaner” than indoors simply because of the abundance of UV light on warm sunny days. Nursing people in the open air, was seen to be effective in the outbreak of Spanish flu in 1918 https://email@example.com/coronavirus-and-the-sun-a-lesson-from-the-1918-influenza-pandemic-509151dc8065
High temperature can also inactivate the virus according to Professor Nicholls. Between 4 degrees and 10 degrees Celsius the virus remains intact, but at 30 degrees it becomes relatively inactive, or does it?
A scientific research paper - “Influenza Virus Transmission Is Dependent On Relative Humidity and Temperature” - Anice C Lowen, Samira Mubareka, John Steel and Peter Palese, was published in 2007. It looked at the pattern of spread in a population of guinea pigs intentionally infected with flu in a laboratory. High temperatures and specifically high humidity slowed the spread of the virus. At extremely high levels of humidity the virus was halted completely. Warmer air holds more moisture which prevents airborne viral infections travelling as far as they can in dry air. In humid conditions, any small liquid droplets in coughs and sneezes gather more moisture as they are expelled. This makes them heavier and unable to remain airborne; thus reducing the airborne ability for the disease to travel.
Interestingly, Nicholls also suggests that currently he doesn’t expect areas such as Australia, Africa and the Southern Hemisphere to have such large rates of corona infection that are being presented in the Northern Hemisphere because at the time of writing they are still experiencing the effects of summer. To conclude: let’s hope that most of us remain healthy and can eventually put this problem behind us. But please do not panic, as high levels of stress are detrimental to our immune systems.