“In the fields of observation, chance favours only the prepared mind.”
Louis Pasteur — University of Lille, France (December 7, 1854)
May 29 2020 — Europe is heading for a very hot summer and the heat should slow down the pandemic for the next few months. But, make no mistake. When the wet and cold weather returns this fall, the second peak will strike pretty hard. And this time, our governments will have ZERO excuse if they are not ready. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
I would like to argue that a very simple method could predict the next peak of the COVID-19 with absolutely perfect accuracy.
But first, let me remind you two facts I have discussed before.
I love forensic sciences. But, if you think that serious scientific research is always glamorous, you may want to read this story and reconsider your career move…
In the 1940’s Stalin’s secret police had set up a special department to get its hands on people’s faeces.
Joseph Stalin spied on Mao Zedong, among others, by analyzing excrement to construct psychological portraits.
“For example, if they detected high levels of amino acid Tryptophan ( in faeces), they concluded that person was calm and approachable.”
“But a lack of potassium in poo was seen as a sign of a nervous disposition and someone with insomnia.”
Personally, that is the kind of ‘raw intelligence’ I would not touch with a ten-foot pole.
But, then again, I can only assume that there is a rational reason as to why the word “coprophilia” actually exists in the English language…
And this fact brings us to the next subject.
As you may know, I follow closely the production of cocaine in Colombia. And one Belgian city — Antwerp — is known as the cocaine capital of Europe.
How do we know that anyway? Short answer: Wastewater analysis.
Wastewater analysis is a rapidly developing scientific discipline with the potential for monitoring real-time data on geographical and temporal trends in illicit drug use.
Originally used in the 1990’s to monitor the environmental impact of liquid household waste, the method has since been used to estimate illicit drug consumption.
It involves sampling a source of wastewater, such as a sewage influent to a wastewater treatment plant.
This allows scientists to estimate the quantity of drugs consumed by a community by measuring the levels of illicit drugs and their metabolites excreted in urine.
Predicting the Next Peak
All that is needed is to put these two ideas at work together!
Indeed sewage sludge can be investigated to determine the progression of the virus and predict its evolution among a local population.
The red line in the figure above shows the concentration of corona-virus in sewage sludge.
The black line shows the number of new COVID-19 cases.
It’s a perfect fit with a lag of about one week!
One week may not seem like much but it is plenty of time for public health officials to prepare countermeasures.
Sewage Sludge Can Be an Early Warning of Coronavirus — Mother Jones
COVID-19 — A Simple Method to Predict the Second Peak