Are colder countries more susceptible to COVID-19?

Updated: Apr 12, 2020

Temperature has not been proven to kill this virus, but I couldn't help but wonder if the spread in colder countries is greater than the spread in hotter countries. I thought of this especially after seeing the difference in cases and deaths between the US and India. A warning in advance that this is not scientifically proven, and it is very possible that my findings are a mere correlation and not causation.

When I looked into the cases per million in each country and their average temperature, I found that colder countries often had a higher amount of cases per million than hotter countries. At about 70 degrees F, the spread of the virus seems to go down severely. The most extreme outlier to the previous statements is South Korea and Turkey, though it seems like Turkey's cases are now on the rise. South Korea, though they had a great amount of cases at the beginning of this pandemic, they now have a relatively low amount of cases in comparison with other countries. South Korea's temperature is fairly low, at about 49 degrees on average during February and March, but the cases per million were extremely low in comparison with countries with averages near 49 degrees. This could be due to the preventative measures taken by South Korean authorities. It is also possible that the societal acceptance of the use of masks contributed to how the country was able to adjust to new necessities that came around after the novel coronavirus began to spread.

I created two graphs (one with the two outliers, one without) using data on different countries' average temperature and cases per million, which showed that the cases per million were generally very high in countries with low temperatures and relatively extremely low in hotter countries.

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