In this post, we look at air conditioning and COVID-19. There is now research on this topic. And the results fall into another “you must be kidding” category for us.

Today’s article complements our COVID-19 series.

Highlighting Research on Air Conditioning and COVID-19

According to new research published by medRxiv, there may be a strong correlation between air conditioning and the spread of COVID-19. [Please note: This article is a preprint and has not been peer-reviewed. It reports new medical research that has yet to be evaluated and so should not be used to guide clinical practice.]

The research is summarized by Harrison Tassof, writing for Futurity:

Most COVID guidelines stress the 6-foot physical distancing rule. With the idea being that the virus spreads through large droplets produced when we talk, cough, or sneeze. Relatively heavy, these droplets tend to fall to the ground before they travel more than a few feet.

“However we have outbreaks even when people keep this 6-foot distance, and especially indoors,” says Bjorn Birnir. He is director of the Center for Complex and Nonlinear Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. More recent evidence suggests that the virus also travels in smaller droplets and aerosols. And thus may linger in the air for hours.

Birnir and his colleague Luiza Angheluta — a professor at the University of Oslo and currently a visiting researcher at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics—decided to apply their expertise in fluid dynamics to COVID super-spreading events to understand how they might have happened. The crucial factor, they found, was air circulation.

To read more by Tassof, click the image. To access a PDF of the full article, click here.  Then choose, “Preview PDF.”

Air Conditioning and COVID-19

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