29 Jun 2020
Setting it Straight: Hot and cold, wet and dry and the problem of confounding variables
Written by Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty
As Shakespeare’s Richard III has it: ‘Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer…’ But is the summer experience of COVID-19 in the hard-hit northern hemisphere looking any less inglorious than the preceding, grim days of late winter and autumn? We’re used to the idea that colds and flu are more of a problem in winter, and many would like to believe that should also true for SARS-CoV-2 infection. But COVID-19 is a new disease and we’ve only lived with it for a very short time. While New York City and London were hard hit in the colder months, hot places like India, Texas, Florida and Indonesia are currently experiencing a surge in cases. Is there really a summer lull?