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Article

Home alone? Effect of weather-induced behaviour on spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Germany

Economics and Human Biology. 2021. Vol. 42.
Yakubenko S.

In early 2020 the world was struck by the epidemic of novel SARS-CoV-2 virus. Like many others, German government has introduced severe contact restrictions to limit the spread of infection. This paper analyses effects of weather on the spread of the disease under the described circumstances. We demonstrate that regions reported lower growth rates of the number of the infection cases after days with higher temperatures, no rain and low humidity. We argue that this effect is channelled through human behaviour. The evidence suggests that “good” weather attracts individuals to outdoor (safer) environments, thus, deterring people from indoor (less safe) environments. Understanding this relationship is important for improving the measures aiming at combating the spread of the virus.