Unexpected effects of sunlight, the environment, and public health measures in the progression of COVID-19

Control of COVID-19 was attempted by instituting four main public health measures: mobility restrictions, social distancing, face mask wearing and when available, vaccination. These measures disregarded the possible persistence of SARS-CoV-2 virus in the environment and its potential risk of re-infection.
We present the time (in minutes) required by solar ultraviolet radiation to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 virus at various levels in several cities of the world during different times of the year. These inactivation times correlated with the solar flux received by countries in different hemispheres and with their reported COVID-19 epidemiological data. This finding of seasonality demonstrates that infectious viruses in the environment play a role in the pandemic since direct person-to-person transmission would afford little time for solar inactivation.
In contrast to infections, COVID-19 mortality did not show a seasonal component among the studied countries and its rate was considerably lower in developing countries of South America (11 of the largest countries) than in several (at least 8) developed European countries. This observation could negatively correlate with hospitalization rate and subsequent nosocomial infections.
Similar epidemiological data amongst “locked” and “unlocked” countries in every continent demonstrates that lock-downs and similar confining measures had no effect on the chances of healthy individuals becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 or dying of COVID-19.
The only unseasonable peak (in summer) of COVID-19 infections in Argentina and a drastic increase in infections in Uruguay appeared shortly after starting the vaccination campaigns in both countries. Partial face mask wearing (at about 50%) and massive crowding at two events in Argentina (over 200,000 during the funeral of soccer star Maradona and several millions fans during the Americas soccer cup victory celebrations) had no measurable impact on the progression of COVID-19 in that country. Data is presented showing that in addition to lock-downs and mobility restrictions, closing and opening of national borders, closing restaurants, and prohibiting social events, had no impact on the pandemic. Furthermore, preliminary analysis of epidemiological data suggests that vaccination does not halt COVID-19 progression.