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  • Tim McGill

Will Allergy Season Mean More COVID-19 Confusion?

There are a few ways to measure the start of spring. Astronomically speaking it began back on March 20th with the arrival of the Vernal Equinox. Meteorologically speaking it began on March 1st and runs through May. The USA National Phenology Network looks at several factors to determine the start of spring and overall they are pointing to an early start to the season for a big portion of the country.


The NPN looks at when certain season events with plants and animals begin. Here is a quote form a recent post in EcoWatch:


Records managed by the USA National Phenology Network and other organizations prove that spring has accelerated over the long term. For example, the common yellow trout lily blooms nearly a week earlier in the Appalachian Mountain region than it did 100 years ago. Blueberries in Massachusetts flower three to four weeks earlier than in the mid-1800s. And over a recent 12-year period, over half of 48 migratory bird species studied arrived at their breeding grounds up to nine days earlier than previously.


Warmer spring temperatures have also led beetles, moths and butterflies to emerge earlier than in recent years. Similarly, hibernating species like frogs and bears emerge from hibernation earlier in warm springs.



The latest report from the NPN confirms spring has arrived earlier than average in much of the south and along the west coast.


"Spring leaf out continues to spread up the country, three to four weeks earlier than a long-term average (1981-2010) in so me locations. Boston, MA and Providence, RI are 2-3 weeks early, Indianapolis, IN is 4 days early, Pueblo, CO is 1 week late, and Reno, NV is 1-2 weeks early.


Spring leaf out has also arrived in parts of the West. Spring leaf out is on time to 2 days late in San Diego, LA, and San Francisco, CA and 10 days early in Portland, OR and Seattle, WA. Parts of the Columbia Plateau are 30 days early.

Spring bloom has also arrived in several Southeast and Southwest states. Spring bloom is between 1 day and 3 weeks early. "

An early arrival of spring means an early onset of allergy season. The runny nose, soar throat, cough that accompanies an allergy could lead to some confusion with coronavirus symptoms.


There are ways to tell the difference between the two. Here are some links to helpful articles to distinguish between allegry symptoms and coronavirus symptoms:


How to tell difference between symptoms of allergies & COVID-19

Not Sure You Have COVID-19? Here Are the Symptoms for Coronavirus, Flu, and Allergies

IS IT COVID-19? OR IS IT JUST MY ALLERGIES?


Here are some links to get a pollen report and/or allergy forecast:


5 day allergy forecast

National Allergy Bureau Pollen & Mold Report

Allergy count from Loyola University



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