I’ve been pointing out for a few days that ski vacationers seem to come up in the news a lot in connection with the virus. I could be totally wrong about this, but my unscientific impression is that a fair amount of the spread around Europe (such as to Iceland) is being traced to ski vacationers in the Italian and now Austrian Alps.
Why? Well, this is of course prime ski season, when temperatures are still cold but days are longer than in December.
But it’s also a fairly big time of the year for golf vacations in the U.S. to Florida, Palm Springs, and, lately, Myrtle Beach in South Carolina.
In general, ski travelers and golf travelers tend to be similar affluent demographics, with ski vacationers tending to be somewhat younger and more vigorous. Also, ski vacations tend to be more for mom and sis as well as dad and jr., while family golf vacations lean more toward father and son. (If you watch the Winter Olympics, young Olympic skiers and snowboarders seem to belong to Nice Happy Families.)
All this suggests that golf trippers should be hit at least as hard per capita as ski trippers.
But, to the extent I’m right (which is highly questionable, of course), they are not.
The most obvious difference could be that skiers head for cold places and winter golfers head for the warm places.
Why do we get more colds and flus when it is cold?
Oddly, there isn’t much settled science on this question. One possible answer is because our noses tend to run more in the cold, which spreads more germs around. Maybe skiers’ noses run more than golfers’ noses, on average?
I’m way out on a limb here in terms of chains of evidence and reasoning, so don’t take this seriously, but that might be good news because the northern hemisphere is approaching Spring.