Dropping temperatures exacerbate COVID health risks


Photo by Ruby Tarshis '23

Andrew Tarshis is forced into covid safety precautions in his own house. He must wear a mask and gloves + stay 6 feet away from the rest of his family when he is outside of his room

COVID-19 has drastically changed our world in just eight months. Outdoor seating, outdoor sports, mask breaks, social distancing and more have been implemented to control the virus so we can continue activities in a somewhat normal manner. All of these precautions have worked so far because of the pleasant weather, but what are we going to do when it gets too cold to be outside?

To deal with the cold weather, we are going to have to adjust COVID-19 precautions. Finding a new way to live with the virus that works with the cold will definitely be difficult, especially because we are only just starting to adjust to life with COVID in warm weather. 

Connecticut does not currently have the virus under control and has fallen under the classification of a red zone, and according to Smriti Mallapaty, a well known researcher and reporter,  COVID-19 outbreaks are going to be a major issue during winter, especially in places that don’t currently have the virus under control. Additionally, there have been several outbreaks, causing schools to temporarily close down. This is a major concern as we head into winter.

Finding a new way to live with the virus that works with the cold will definitely be difficult, especially because we are only just starting to adjust to life with COVID in warm weather.

Furthermore, the similarities between the 1918 influenza outbreak and COVID-19 have led scientists to believe that the virus will worsen in the winter.  

 The Spanish Flu is the only pandemic in history to have killed more Americans so far. The 1918 influenza was five times as high during winter. According to David H. Freedman, a science journalist and author, COVID-19 has been following a very similar path as the 1918 influenza so far, it is predicticted that the disease will worsen during the winter. Therefore, it is important that we as a community do all that we can to control the virus better than we did in the spring.

We need to be cautious, and this would mean limiting contact with other people when we see signs of an outbreak. This will help control the virus and hopefully eliminate panic.  According to James Hamblin, a board-certified physician specializing in public health and preventive medicine, it is very important that we pay close attention to the case numbers so we don’t go into total lockdown again. 

The rush to bring life back to normal is bringing us closer to another surge in the COVID-19 epidemic. According to German Lopez, a Senior Correspondent, experts worry that winter will be a repeat of spring. Due to the holidays coming up, states are rolling back regulations. 

If COVID-19 worsens in winter, as predicted, then it will be necessary that we go into lockdown. mean purchasing things strictly online, including groceries and clothing. Necessities like doctors appointments would continue during the quarantine. 

Since the virus emerged in the Westport community in March 2020, we have yet to experience what life is like with the virus during the peak of winter. We will have to adapt our current precautions so that they go along with the dropping temperatures. Even with precautions, there are definitely still health risks that could potentially cause an outbreak. We need to work together to find a safe way to live alongside the virus during winter.