In times like these, it’s nice to read what optimists have to say along with all the pessimism and worst case scenarios we’re also paying attention to (whether we choose to or not). Veteran Wall Street strategist Ed Yardeni has a recent note out looking at the virus from various vantage points – policy response, China’s experience, Italy’s experience, etc.
Here’s what’s thinking about in terms of whether or not the gradual onset of spring might mean:
The weather story. Warmer weather may also help to end the pandemic—but that’s a controversial subject. There’s a lot of skepticism about the vulnerability of coronaviruses to hotter weather. As Annie sings: “The sun will come out tomorrow.” But would we bet our bottom dollars that it will burn off the virus?
Virologists affiliated with the Global Virus Network have found that temperature and latitude may have a direct link to the spread and seasonality of COVID-19, according to their March 10 report. Their world temperature map (March-April 2019) of major outbreak zones reveals that “To date, COVID-19 … has established significant community spread in cities and regions along a narrow east and west distribution, roughly along the 30-50 N corridor at consistently similar weather patterns (5-11 degrees C and 47-79% humidity).”
The report also suggests that COVID-19 should diminish considerably in affected areas in the coming warmer months (assuming no mutations enhance the virus’ temperature resilience). However, it could come back in the fall and winter. We may just have to learn to live with it and find vaccines and cures before it does so.
By the way, the virus dissipated rapidly recently in the Wuhan area. The weather there gets extremely hot in the summer (they call it one of the three “furnaces of China”), and March temps this year are way above average for the month.
Like the rest of us, Yardeni is going to have to wait and see if the warmth (and UV rays) of the sun can truly help us with mitigation.
The Best Cure for a Viral Pandemic Is a Viral Panic
Yardeni Research – March 16th, 2020