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PPE Supplier: Lemon Investigates Why Viruses Spread More In Winter

Last week, we spoke to Sean Nutley, Managing Director of Lemon Worldwide, about his thoughts on the issue (or rather, non-issue) surrounding following the guidance surrounding the Coronavirus, with regards to wearing a face covering, adhering to social distancing guidelines and regularly washing your hands. Sean’s views, which are increasingly being echoed by many people, nationwide, touched upon the fact that viruses spread more effectively in the winter months, hence why we have a ‘flu season’ every year! But the question is, why? The team here at Lemon, one of the UK’s foremost PPE suppliers, wanted to look into the science behind this seasonal spreading, especially with the worsening situation surrounding COVID-19, here in the UK.

What Is A Virus?

Despite being made its prisoner for the past three quarters of a year, many people still only hold the vaguest of understandings when it comes to what a virus actuallyis. It makes sense, therefore, to start here, right at the beginning, before then going on to explore why it is that viruses seem to enjoy the colder months so much.

Viruses are tiny (we’re talking sub-microscopic kind of small, here) infectious agents that have the capability to infect all forms of life. ‘Coronaviruses’ are actually a group of several viruses, rather than just one, and this year’s specific Coronavirus disease outbreak has been caused by a particular strain of this group, called ‘Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2’ or ‘SARS-CoV-2’. The fact that this virus spreads mainly through respiratory droplets just goes to show the importance of following those guidelines.

By wearing a mask, you drastically mitigate the risk of spreading the virus, by preventing those droplets from spreading. By washing your hands, you kill and dislodge the virus from your skin, preventing both transmission and contraction of any virus. By distancing from one another? You’re less likely to encounter any of those infectious airborne droplets. What it is, above anything else, is common sense, and here at Lemonwe’re proud to supplythe PPEto go along with that common sense!

Why The Winter Months?

Why, then, are viruses so much more prolific during winter? Well, the truth is that it’s a difficult question to answer, however there are several prominent theories, widely accepted to be feasible contributing factors:

Societal Behaviour

Now, unless your brain is wired differently to the most of us, a picnic in the park isn’t going to be on most people’s cards when it’s below freezing outside – though, each to their own, I suppose! The point being that people spend more time indoors in the winter months. Pathogens (of which viruses are a particular variant) spread more easily in crowded, indoor environments.

Let’s Talk About The Weather

Be honest here, you didn’t think you could get through a blog written by a Brit without bringing up the weather, did you? If so, then shame on you! The more densely packed an environment – sealed environments which are often poorly ventilated – the more that viruses are likely to be spread through air-borne droplets.

Furthermore, viruses are known to survive better in cooler conditions, and whilst there’s a lack of any substantial scientific evidence, currently, surrounding the effect of temperature on coronaviruses, what we do know is that if it behaves in similar ways to other viruses (such as influenza or rhinoviruses) – and scientists are leaning towards the thinking that it does – then there’s no reason to think that SARS-CoV-2 won’t spread with more efficacy in the months to come, as temperature declines, and relative humidity increases.

Other Seasonal Illnesses Haven’t Simply ‘Disappeared

Another question posed by Sean in last week’s blog was why wouldn’tyou take the recommended precautions? Because the fact that we’re in the midst of a global pandemic doesn’t mean that the risk of contracting other seasonal illnesses is somehow miraculously mitigated. Seasonal flu will still be there, the common cold will still be there, and so extra care is recommended in winter months, anyway, regardlessof the Coronavirus outbreak. That being said, it’s unclear at the moment as to whether the more ‘typical’ seasonal diseases will spread, this year, in anywhere near the way that they normally would, given that we have measures in place like social distancing now. Only time will tell.

People are understandably fed up of hearing phrases like ‘the new normal’ and ‘unprecedented’, and people are similarly fatigued with hearing of nothing more than Coronavirus on the news, day in and day out. Unfortunately, viruses don’t care one iota about whether we’re tired of it, or not! In fact, viruses don’t carefull stop; they simply look to reproduce and spread, and it’s going to continue to do that, moving forward.

The Uptake?

What the world is currently having to deal with, with regards to COVID-19, is something that’s still relatively new, and scientists still only have a relatively basic understanding of the more nuanced aspects of the pathogen’s behaviour. That is changing by the day, however, and as scientists continue to learn more about the virus, and as immunologists continue to work on potential vaccines, then we’ll be able to get more on top of the virus. That’s still some time off, though, and there are still countless current unknowns which will invariably affect our lives in the coming months. One thing that we do know for certain is that you reduce your risk of both contracting and spreading the virus, if you follow the national guidelines.

Contact Our PPE Supply Store Today!

So, if you’d like to find out more about our workplace solutions and PPE supplies, then get in touch! Contact Lemon today by emailing us at info@lemon.co.ukor by calling us on 0333 241 6950. Or head over to out LinkedIn page to see more insights into new products and offers.