There is a large body of research showing that direct sunlight disables viruses. Sunlight exposure increases Vitamin D levels in humans, strengthening immune systems, specifically against viral infection. Yet, the population of the world has been commanded to “Stay Inside” during this dangerous pandemic.
This is not to suggest The Sun is the cure for COVID 19.There is little doubt that “Social Distancing” generally slows the impact of the Corona Virus Epidemic. We should be doing everything we reasonably can to “flatten the curve.” But does Social Distancing have to include distancing ourselves from the warmth and the general healing power of The Sun?
The Sun may be a kind of antidote for viral infection which doesn’t mean it’s safe to assume it will help against Covid 19. Medical experts have been downplaying sun exposure for good reason. Some pundits and the disastrous US President have claimed warm weather will immediately solve the problem, which is unlikely.
But don’t throw the baby out with the bath water just yet. Research in biological warfare of all places has revealed the Sun’s power to manage viruses.
Biological warfare research has often shown more interest in bacteria because it’s widely known that viruses are swiftly deactivated by direct sunlight. A number of studies show many lethal viruses, are effectively taken out by the sun, stopping their spread.
“The primary photochemical processes that damage the viral DNA or RNA occur at all the solar UV wavelengths, varying only in the efficiency of the different wavelengths (55).”
However the authors also point out this is generally a sparse field of study.
“Since there are few published data that describe the survival of viruses, and none for threat viruses, following exposure to solar UV radiation.”
We know why medical experts want everyone inside. If people stay inside they don’t breathe on each other, they don’t hug and kiss and use the same handrails. There isn’t research yet showing that sunlight specifically neutralizes the Corona virus. So the safest thing in an emergency is to get everyone locked down inside their houses. But is it?
France now requires people to have special forms to travel outside. Spain fines people for breaking lockdown rules. You need special authorization to go outside in Italy. Things are likely to become more severe everywhere as casualties mount. Governments appears to be following the apparently successful Chinese model which has been successful in slowing the progression of the virus, but might make freedom loving people everywhere nervous.
Can we ask why people can’t go outside during the Pandemic? Aside from being demoralizing, staying inside is obviously not healthy and stressful. Stress is a huge factor in vulnerability to viral infection as it literally directly lowers immune function.
In fact, you might ask if the immune diminishing effect of a lockdown could feed the Pandemic.
While media has been quick to ridicule the Sun treatment for the Corona The New York Times recently included sun exposure in an article debunking Miracle Cures for the Corona Virus.
“It is not yet known what effect sunlight or ultraviolet light has on the new coronavirus,” according to The Times. “And if the virus is already reproducing inside of a human body, ultraviolet light — from the sun or from a lamp — can’t reach it.”
This however, paternally misses the point. I doubt anyone believes Ultraviolet light somehow penetrates the body burning away viruses. But what a lot of people do know that sunlight exposure raises Vitamin D levels making people less prone to viral infection, generally.
People often fail to recognize the healing power of the sun because it’s so obvious. Colds and flus are less common both in winter and in tropical countries partially because of one simple reason: Sun Exposure!
There’s seems to be an obvious case for people going outside safely and even socializing in sunlit open places, such as Parks, fields and meadows during the day. The Guardian has a piece making the case that cycling by definition keeps people apart from each other while giving the cyclist healthy exercise.
I would suggest a 3 metre rule. I know there is a question around groups. It may be that groups of humans are incapable of self-policing. As long as people stay more than well away from each other, and weren’t crowded together. People might be able to converse in the sunlight or walk together in the sun. There are a number of exercises modalities that could be Pandemic safe activities.
- Pandemic Safe Yoga where mats are spaced out
- Pandemic Safe Dancing with allocated space
- Pandemic Safe Tai Chi or Chi Kung, Karate or Kung Fu.
- Pandemic Safe Cycling
Just to name a few. The failure by medical experts and governments to show any concern for the therapeutic effects of going outside will likely bolster the already widespread concern that medical science is actually pharmaceutical science. No one can patent The Sun. What makes The Sun confounding is its overwhelming totality.
The Sun seems to offer healing in a number of ways. It may strengthen immunity, lower stress, as well as burning off viruses.
Richard Hobway, Author of The Healing Sun also writes in Medium detailing experiments with fresh air and sunshine during the 1918 Influenza epidemic which killed millions.
“Put simply, medics found that severely ill flu patients nursed outdoors recovered better than those treated indoors,” writes Hobway. “A combination of fresh air and sunlight seems to have prevented deaths among patients; and infections among medical staff. There is scientific support for this. Research shows that outdoor air is a natural disinfectant. Fresh air can kill the flu virus and other harmful germs. Equally, sunlight is germicidal and there is now evidence it can kill the flu virus.”
So why are we being forced inside for weeks and probably months. Because understandably this is probably is the simplest way to get the most people to respect Social Distancing rules quickly. But it is also a projection of the medical model’s limited thinking. Medicine is very good at managing infections by enclosing things into sterile boxes. It works. It’s precise and predictable. But they are likely now projecting that model on the entire population of the planet. Get back into your sterile box citizen. Now! For the good of the population.
Here Comes The Sun
Taking account of the Sun is also taking some responsibility for this. Instead of waiting for medical science to save us, this Pandemic could also be a pretty good excuse to get healthy. Fresh air and sunlight are the standard staples of healthy living. We should all be getting our immunes systems into good shape as we brace for impact. You don’t need a Happiness Expert to tell you going outdoors and experiencing some authentic varied social connection is good for you. Nor do you need a medical expert to tell you your morale affects your ability to ward off infection.
There are those that believe the Sun may help us sooner than we think. “If the coronavirus behaves like most other viruses, then as the sun grows stronger day by day as we head towards the summer solstice,” according to Joel N Myers who runs the AccWeather forecasting service in the US. “The stronger sun and increased hours of sunshine may start to take their toll on the virus, thereby helping to slow its spread, particularly as the sun gets stronger in April and May.”
However, even if the warmer weather doesn’t slow the Pandemic which is quite likely because of the current high rate of infection, it’s worth noting that the Sun’s own rays could make outdoor spaces safe for humans. This doesn’t discount the risks of excessive sun exposure, which are certainly real.
As this crisis, continues people will become intensely frustrated being stuck inside in their homes. Many people live in apartments where they have no access to sunlight or fresh air. Is it possible we could develop Pandemic Safe ways to get outside? Why are we being forced to turn our back on the natural world? Why isn’t there more research into the Sun’s obvious healing potential? Why can’t we go outside, carefully, possibly together.
Sometimes solutions could be staring us right in the face.