April 5, 2020

I’M NOT AN EPIDEMIOLOGIST, BUT: Following up on yesterday’s post on the low level of Covid-19 infections in Australia… Hawaii, population 1.5 million, has only 351 confirmed Covid-19 cases, and three deaths, despite Honolulu being a densely-packed urban area and tons of tourist traffic from Asia in December and January. Puerto Rico, population 3.2 million, has only 452 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 18 deaths, despite a huge amount of traffic between the New York area and the island, and San Juan being a densely-packed city. Like I said, I’m not an epidemiologist, but I’d love to know if someone who is has provided an explanation for these statistics beyond sunshine, humidity, and hot weather. (Note: New Orleans has been consistently hot since March 10, and if that doesn’t slow the spread of the virus, it would definitely throw a monkey wrench into the weather theory, though not necessarily into the “protective nature of Vitamin D” theory, as I suspect residents of San Juan and Honolulu get a lot more sun in the Winter than do residents of New Orleans. P.S. I’m aware that Mardis Gras was likely a “super spreader event,” but if hot weather is protective, the rate of spread in March and April should be slower than in colder climates).

UPDATE: Yes, I know that Guayaquil, Ecuador, right on the equator, has been hard-hit. But conditions in a Third-World country (per capita GPD $6,000) are quite different than the U.S. and Australia, and it’s doubtful in any event that we can get useful data out of their public health system.

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