My forecast was accurate
On the 3rd of November (week 45) I wrote a blogpost, forecasting an increase of Dutch COVID-19 cases around the 13th of November. I based this forecast on research that we published in August. As part of this process we reviewed over a hundred peer-reviewed papers. All these papers clearly establish a relationship between low humidity and the increased spread of respiratory viruses; Influenza and SARS-CoV-2.
November 3rd was a day with low humidity. KNMI (Dutch National Weather Service) was also forecasting a few days of similar weather.
Many people thought I was crazy because the Dutch cases were actually dropping from November 3rd to November 10th. I WAS RIGHT! On November 13th we saw a big increases in cases. Here are the numbers:
As my research points out, when the Specific Humidity drops below 6 g/kg (which I call the ‘Red Zone‘) the formation of aerosols increases dramatically and so does the infectivity of these aerosols. I have written several blogpost on the subject, but to recap:
A low Humidity:
- Evaporates more respiratory droplets and thus creates more aerosols;
- Increases the period that the virus remains active and ‘alive’;
- Reduces the effectivity of our Mucosa (our own ‘Virus Firewall);
What this means is that with a lower humidity there are:
(i) more aerosols;
(ii) these aerosols are more infectious and;
(iii) our body is less likely to ward of an infection.
Even more evidence.
Have a close look at the chart above. The green line is the Specific Humidity. The other two lines are hospitalization and mortality. Per month. You clearly see that a Low Humidity leads to an increase and a High Humidity to a decrease. The scientific evidence is overwhelming.
Forecasting for everyone
It is fairly easy to forecast the increase of decrease of cases in The Netherlands, using Humidity. Anyone can do it. All you need to is browse to https://www.coronaweer.nl/. Enable the ‘Weer Station Checkbox‘ and then select the time and day. If the majority of Weather Stations is showing ‘Red’ it means there will be an increase +-10 days later. And if its mostly ‘Green’ then there will be a decrease in cases. For example: I forecast that we will see a decreasing trend again in the middle of next week.
In this polarized climate I am sure some people will say something like: “You are just a lucky guy who guessed right“. Especially when an organization like RIVM is constantly expressing doubt about anything that isn’t a vaccin. Every time when I read an article about, proven, science and solutions, I see this Coen Berends (Spokesperson for RIVM) expressing ‘Doubt’. He doubts Aerosols, UVC, Humidity, Air Purification. Basically he has expressed doubt about everything, except a Vaccin. Doesn’t that strike anyone as odd??
You know what these highly reputable professors, from highly reputable universities have in common? They have all published papers stating clearly that Humidity has a direct effect on the spread of respiratory viruses! In fact, a petition with over 4,400 signatures, from experts all over the world, was sent to the WHO. In this petition the WHO is urged to establish global guidelines on indoor humidity.
And Yes, this includes professor Jacco Wallinga, head of modelling at the RIVM. I wrote a blog about Wallinga’s obvious ‘180’ earlier.
Fake news is not just happening abroad
Many of you might not remember the Information Minister under Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf. He was affectionately known as ‘Baghdad Bob’. He got his nickname during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. His pronouncements included a denial that there were any American tanks in Baghdad, when in fact they were only several hundred meters away from the press conference where he was speaking and the combat sounds of the nearing American troops could already be heard in the background of the broadcast. It was laughable. Everyone, except the poor people in Iraq, knew that ‘Baghdad Bob’ was spreading #FakeNews.
I think its time we find a nickname for Coen Berends at the RIVM. Because he clearly is doing a ‘Baghdad Bob’ impression. Despite overwhelming evidence about the role of Humidity and Aerosols on the spread of COVID-19 and solutions such as: Humidifiers, Air Purification, Ventilation and UV Lighting, Coen Berends is peddling #fakenews #misinformation and #falsehoods. He is constantly seeding doubt. Except when it comes to a vaccin. There has not been any real evidence that a Vaccin will work or will be safe. And yet he peddles a vaccin. I am the only one that thinks this is suspect or hypocritical? I don’t think I am the only one.
And that’s why I wrote this blog. RIVM – and Coen Berends – should quit the crap and start informing the Dutch population accurately and stop peddling #fakenews.
Coen, one day we will look back. Do you want to be known as the Dutch version of Baghdad Bob?
I certainly hope not.