|Mid-summer sunset across the Ribble Valley|
2020 was memorable for the Covid-19 pandemic, but the behaviour of the pandemic conformed to the pattern that we expect in the natural world.
The pandemic became significant in the UK during the month of March 2020, and on March 23rd lockdown was introduced as we had experienced 258 deaths. Despite this, cases and deaths continued to increase until mid-April 2020, when we experienced a maximum of 919 deaths in one day.
Mid-April is the time in the UK when the mid-day sun becomes more than 45 degrees above the horizon, and so vitamin D production starts. As a result, immunity becomes more effective and so there was a steady decline in Covid-19 deaths to a minimum level in August, with fewer than ten deaths per day. This is the same pattern for all respiratory infections, the non-specific beneficial effects of the summer enhancement of immunity. It is not difficult to understand.
As predicted by the natural annual cycle of respiratory infections, the incidence and deaths from Covid-19 increased in the early winter, when vitamin D production ceased and vitamin D reserves were reducing. A steady state was observed during November and December. This was seen in all European countries and in North America.
|Figure 1. Covid-19 deaths in the UK during 2020|
|Figure 2. Covid-19 deaths in the Netherlands during 2020|
|Figure 3. Covid-19 deaths in Canada during 2020|
However a sudden and unexpected increase in Covid-19 cases and deaths occurred in January 2021. What was even less expected and which remains unexplained is the sudden decrease in cases and deaths that followed in February. There was no obvious natural or therapeutic enhancement of immunity that could account for it. There was of course the introduction of the vaccination programme in mid-late December, but if it is viewed as causing the decline in deaths (much too rapid) it could equally be viewed as somehow causing the increase.
|Figure 4. Covid-19 deaths in the UK during 2020 and 2021|
I have described previously the winter increase in Covid-19 deaths in the Andalucía region of Spain. A public health initiative in late November 2020 was to use Vitamin D in its activated form calcifediol, 25(OH)D, to protect the vulnerable elderly. It appeared to have a dramatic effect as there was a sudden drop in the number of deaths during December, with no obvious alternative explanation.
However this dramatic benefit was reversed by an equally dramatic increase in deaths in January. As in the UK it was was brief peak, but the experience in Andalucía indicated that this peak appeared to be vitamin D / immunity resistant. Most strange, and still unexplained.
|Figure 5. Covid-19 deaths in Andalucía, Spain, during 2020-21|
The end of the winter saw the expected decrease in cases and deaths as the vitamin D season started again, and in 2021 this was supplemented by the immunity benefits of the vaccination roll-out programme.
All was going well in the early summer of 2021 in Europe, and then something else happened that was completely unexpected. In the UK, in June and continuing into July, there was a sudden peak of Covid-19 cases, five times greater than the April 2020 peak.
|Figure 6. Covid-19 cases in the UK during 2020-21|