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A Random Thought On COVID and the Future

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March 21, 2022 8:16 a.m.

I mentioned a few days ago that one of the most promising innovations of the COVID pandemic in the U.S. is the use of wastewater analysis to predict the ebbs and flows of pandemic waves. The technology isn’t new — it’s just testing sewage water. It’s not that no one had thought about it or done it before. But the society-wide crisis of the COVID pandemic has demonstrated its utility and potential in dramatically new ways. So two thoughts: We’ve seen the potential of these approaches already. Mandates and other interventions are now maniacally polarized. But the federal government should be using this strategy to create a simple and easy to understand forecasts of COVID prevalence. I knew that cases were likely to rise a week ago because I follow wastewater analysis trends and also follow patterns around the world. But it shouldn’t be that hard. It should be available in something like a weather forecast, done in a systematic fashion, made available to the public through all the logical channels. It could and should be like weather reports or the daily and weekly allergy forecasts you can find online.

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