Here’s a nugget. So to speak. Reported in today’s AFR:
NSW ski resorts are under the microscope after health authorities detected traces of the coronavirus in the region’s sewage treatment plant.
“NSW Health has recently started a research program to test sewage for traces of COVID-19 across the state,” NSW Health said in a statement.
Interesting. Rather than their usual production of legislative and regulatory excrement, the government is now analysing citizens’ excrement.
Novel. Or so you would think. Extraordinary times, blah blah. But it seems that “wastewater analysis” is not a new thing. The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission runs a program called the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program.
Wastewater analysis is widely applied internationally as a tool to measure and interpret drug use within national populations. The Australian Government has recognised the considerable benefits of wastewater analysis and has partnered with established scientific expertise within Australian academic institutions to introduce a national program based on international models.
Considerable benefits of wastewater analysis. Really. Not satisfied in trawling through the financial and phone and GPS records of citizens, our governments like to analyse our fecal outputs.
But here is another unanswered question. Our governments are currently conducting tens of thousands of Covid tests. As part of this, identification and mobile phone numbers are being collected with samples. So now, conceivably, the government has the capacity to build a citizen DNA data base which can be linked to mobile phone records which can be linked to financial records and can provide an unbelievable richness of data. Which can also be linked to the face recognition database and the metadata information records database (thanks Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull).
What are they waiting for? Why not just GPS tag everyone.