Are COVID-19 and the Climate Crisis Related to COVID-19?

25 March 2020

With the exponential increase in the case of corona or COVID-19, the Indonesian government has given a mandate for people to do social distancing or keep their distance in social interaction. Communities are encouraged to work, worship, and carry out activities in their homes to avoid the potential transmission of the massive COVID-19 virus. It is still a mystery how it started, but is it easy to spread the virus due to the worsening climate crisis?

Quoted from greenbiz.com in his article entitled “COVID-19 and climate change: A healthy dose of reality”, for almost two decades, health officials around the world have warned about the emergence of infectious diseases from the effects of the climate crisis namely, warming the earth’s temperature. Even the Pentagon, the US Department of Defense, began raising concerns in 2003 in an independent study commissioned by the US Department of Defense, warning that when famine, sickness and weather related disasters strike because of a sudden climate crisis, many of the country’s needs will exceed their carrying capacity. In the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, the Pentagon officially recognized climate change as a factor worth considering in national security planning. Warmer temperatures can also worsen the recognition and proliferation of heat-related diseases and disease vectors, such as mosquitoes, to vulnerable areas. In 2014, in the Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap, the Pentagon also warned of the emergence of new types of disease.

The current status of COVID-19 has been declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a pandemic. According to newsroom.nz, COVID-19 and climate change are a reflection of each other. Realizing this allows us to respond to both of them better.

With the increase in greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere, can COVID-19 die from hot weather? Quoted from houstonchronicle.com, Maria Van Kerkhove, COVID-19 technical leader with the World Health Organization, said at a press conference in early March, that there was no reason to believe the virus would behave differently at different temperatures. Michael Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergency Program, also spoke at a press conference and noted that the disease has been seen in a number of different climates, including hot and humid Singapore.

In the article entitled “Does climate change play a role in infectious diseases like COVID-19?” Donald Trump in his speech COVID-19 will subside when the warm season comes around April, but it was denied by Dr. Peter Hotez, professor and Dean of the National Tropical Medical School at Baylor College of Medicine, said that COVID-19 is a new virus and does not yet know how COVID-19 will respond to spring and summer conditions. A full year of the season will be needed to truly understand COVID-19. Hotez also added, COVID-19 might decrease in warm months, or it might not be seasonal. It might also decrease in summer but not disappear completely and then return in the fall.

To take care of each other, preventive efforts from yourself and those closest to you are needed so that you are not exposed to the COVID-19 virus, here are some steps to take:

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water at any time for at least 20 seconds. (After holding an object, want to eat, want to hold face, etc.)
  2. Have a sanitizer liquid with at least 60% alcohol content as an alternative if hand washing is not possible.
  3. Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth.
  4. Avoid making direct contact with others, such as shaking hands.
  5. Maintain health and body immunity by consuming vitamins, vegetables and fruits. Drink water regularly to avoid dehydration.
  6. Avoid the crowd, and keep a distance from others at least 1 meter.
  7. Comply with government policies to conduct Social Distancing, in order to minimize virus transmission.
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