According to researchers at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland getting more sun may actually lower your risk of dying from COVID. Meanwhile, several governments, including the Canadian province of Ontario and California, issued stay-at-home orders banning people from even going for walks.
Study Finds reports:
EDINBURGH, Scotland — Throughout the entire coronavirus pandemic, health officials have warned the public to stay indoors. However, a new study finds they may have been going about things all wrong. According to researchers in Scotland, getting out into the sun may be the medicine for COVID-19.
A team from the University of Edinburgh finds sunnier areas see fewer deaths from the virus. Study authors add sunbathing causes the skin to release a chemical which can alleviate symptoms in COVID-positive individuals. Interestingly, the impact of getting more vitamin D, a nutrient provided by the sun’s rays, couldn’t fully explain this phenomenon.
“There is still so much we don’t understand about Covid-19, which has resulted in so many deaths worldwide,” says corresponding author Dr. Richard Weller in a university release. “These early results open up sunlight exposure as one way of potentially reducing the risk of death.”
The findings come from examining people living in England, Italy, and the United States. In sunny U.S. areas with the highest levels of UVA light, coronavirus mortality rates fell. Researchers looked at data from January to April 2020 across 2,474 American counties before repeating the analysis overseas. UVA light makes up 95 percent of the sun’s total UV output.
READ: Getting more sun linked to lower risk of dying from COVID-19
This may also explain why the US states that have ended the lockdowns and allowed people’s lives to return to normal are seeing a reduction in COVID cases and deaths. This included allowing people to watch baseball in packed out stadiums. READ: ‘I’m Not Really Quite Sure’: Fauci Can’t Explain Why Texas COVID Cases Are Dropping Despite The State Lifting All Restrictions
Of course, several studies also revealed that lower levels of vitamin D contribute to increased risk to COVID. READ: More than 80 per cent of hospitalized COVID-19 patients had vitamin D deficiency: study AND Another study finds having a vitamin D deficiency could make you more likely to catch Covid-19
Perhaps it is just a coincidence that vitamin D is also known as the sunshine vitamin because the sun naturally converts our cholesterol into vitamin D.