Post #618: Blue skies, a followup

White Clouds in Blue Sky ca. 1996

My wife found the definitive article in the Washington Post.  I’m not crazy, the air is significantly cleaner now, thanks to lockdown.

That article also has links to research suggesting that long-term exposure to “PM2.5”-type air pollution (fine particulates) explains much of the variation in coronavirus death rates across the country.

As I noted in an earlier post, Italian research points vaguely in that same direction.  Wuhan had notoriously bad air pollution, as did the hardest-hit region of Italy (the Po Valley).  And air quality in New York is not so good.  And, to be honest, that doesn’t bode well for DC.

So the sky really is better-looking these days.  And if the Italian analysis is right, the reduction in particulates helps slow the spread of disease.  But our long-term exposure to particulates likely increases the mortality rate among those who fall ill.