Right now, the coronavirus has the world gripped in fear.
There’s a germ out there that could kill us, and some of us are judging preparedness by how many toilet paper rolls we have.
It’s a strange time. We are being told to isolate. But this doesn’t mean don’t get outside. Oh no. Right now my dear, you need some sunshine in your life.
First, we will talk about why we need it personally. Then, we will go over the theories on weather and the virus.
Studies show that underexposure to sunshine has some fairly significant risks, and these risks are similar to smoking, obesity and being sedentary. Sunshine has a happy effect on our mental health, better aging and cardiovascular benefits.
Sunshine prompts production of vitamin D, and this is a powerhouse when it comes to health rewards. And before you say… oh, I can just pop a supplement. No. It just doesn’t work as well.
Next, sunshine will put you in a better mood. It trips the release of serotonin and endorphins. These are hormones associated with a happier mood, less depression and overall calm.
Also, get ready for better sleep. Getting sun exposure leads to a more effective production of melatonin. This is the hormone that helps you sleep.
Sun exposure can lead to lower blood pressure. Think about it. When you go to the beach and lay in the sun… don’t you feel relaxed? When sunlight hits the skin, a compound called nitric oxide is released into our blood vessels. This actually brings blood pressure down! This can then lower the risks of heart attack and stroke.
The next benefit may surprise you. The right amount of sunlight can reduce the risk of some cancers. There have been numerous studies that have shown there is an association between sun exposure and lower risks of colorectal, prostate, breast cancer as well as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Scientists think it has to do with vitamin D.
More vitamin D can also lead to stronger bones. This is especially important the older we get.
And finally, sunshine can lead to weight loss. Some studies have shown that the higher your vitamin D levels were BEFORE starting a weight loss plan, the more likely you were to succeed… especially when it comes to belly fat.
Now let’s talk about the virus and weather.
We are learning new information every single day, but there’s still so much we don’t know. A report was just released from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) this week. Two top researchers looked at whether the coronavirus pandemic would diminish this summer.
Here is what the paper said in a nutshell…
While we know that influenza is affected by the weather, we really don’t know if COVID-19 is.
However, virus cases are lower in warmer climates at the moment. This includes places like Australia, Singapore, Bahrain, and Taiwan. But don’t draw a conclusion just yet. Some of these places have tested significantly. Others have not. So it’s still impossible to tell if it’s a matter of testing or if it’s a matter of climate.
So the scientists decided to look at the role of humidity. For now, there is hope that higher humidity could lead to a slower transmission. But even here, the scientists are reluctant. The data is rapidly changing and there are several unknown factors. Also the virus is mutating and evolving. We don’t even know the dominant way the virus is even spreading.
With all of these unknowns, what do can we do?
Well, some infectious disease specialists have this to share… research has shown that dry air and ultraviolet light (the light that comes from the sun) harm coronaviruses.
Now no one is saying that sunlight will cure COVID-19.
But just like we need a protective zone around us, so do coronaviruses. Experts say the protective sheen of fat and protein wither in the sun and dry air.
What does this mean? Well, some are saying the virus would die much quicker outside than inside your home. Circulating air helps reduce the spread.
This means it could be a good idea to not only get outside, but you need to let some fresh air into your home daily.
For years, I have left windows and doors open. While it may not be the answer, it possibly could help.
(sources: MIT, Forbes, NY Times, Live Science, Web MD)