It has been said that “sunlight is the best disinfectant,” and according to a report from Agence France-Presse as reported by Yahoo! News this may be so, as some scientists are declaring that the summer sun may help slow the spread of COVID-19.
The new coronavirus is quickly destroyed by sunlight, according to new research announced by a senior US official on Thursday, though the study has not yet been made public and awaits external evaluation.
William Bryan, science and technology advisor to the Department of Homeland Security secretary, told reporters at the White House that government scientists had found ultraviolet rays had a potent impact on the pathogen, offering hope that its spread may ease over the summer.
“Our most striking observation to date is the powerful effect that solar light appears to have on killing the virus, both surfaces and in the air,” he said.
“We’ve seen a similar effect with both temperature and humidity as well, where increasing the temperature and humidity or both is generally less favorable to the virus.” (source)
This is good news. It does NOT mean to let up on social distancing or quarantine, but it helps to improve things or at least, control them for a time. However, since it is very unlikely that a decline in cases will result in a continuation of the same safety protocols, positive developments will be trumped by selfish desire that will continue the virus and, as I have noted, come September to November, there may be a strong chance for the virus to re-emerge.
In this way, the benefits of sunlight would be overshadowed by the selfishness of people, whose actions may end up creating a worse situation than what was before.
So enjoy the summer sun, but stay safe, stay away, and most importantly, using the story of the ant and the grasshopper as an analogy, work hard during the summer to prepare for the winter, but in this case, the winter may be a resurgence of disease that will be worse than the first round and, coming at the time of the most important sales season for the American consumerist economy, will inflict serious damage to her.