Whether coronavirus will spread during winters or not is a big unanswered question. Most doctors and scientists are leaning towards a ‘yes’ from a technical point of view. Dr Joydeep Ghosh, Consultant, Internal Medicine at Fortis Anandapur said, “Logically speaking, during winter season any kind of viral fever becomes rampant. COVID-19 should not be any different. There are few reasons why we can expect a second wave.”
Low temperatures are a favourable condition for viruses to live and multiply. Social distancing will be challenging as well. Due to low humidity the distance travelled by the virus when some sneezes or coughs will be further than what it is now. So while maintaining a distance of 1 metre is safe now, it might not be so in a few months.
As per WHO directive people are washing their hands frequently, taking a bath after returning from work or the market place. But during winters this will be difficult. This increases the chances of carrying the virus back home.
“During winters most of us keep the windows and doors of our houses shut, restricting the movement of breeze within. Most of us are huddled together in one room for warmth. So if one person is infected, the risk of susceptibility for others rises”, added Dr Ghosh.
Dr Sanjukta Dutta, Head of Emergency Service at Fortis Anandapur said, “The onset of winter brings along its own baggage of health troubles. There is a surge in common cold, flu, sore throat, fever etc., which can be confused for symptoms of coronavirus. Along with this, a spike in pollution and a degrading AQI only aggravates the situation. We often see patients with asthma and COPD struggle more in winter. Angina, or chest pain due to coronary heart disease, can also worsen in winter. In such situation, course of COVID-19 disease might complicate further. We might get more critical patients with associated lung ailments. But on a positive note, I hope that the number of cases will start decreasing in few months and in winter we will get fewer positive patients.”
Dr Joydeep Ghosh discusses a silver lining among all of this. He said, “COVID in India will perhaps reach the peak of the graph by next month and begin to decline eventually. We are relatively fortunate that the pandemic peaked during summer and monsoon. Had it peaked during winter, the scenario would have been more critical.”