Mask and vaccine passport mandates are a thing of the past in Ontario, but just as soon as they left, a sixth wave arrived. With no countermeasures in place to flatten the curve and an upcoming election possibly affecting the political will to impose new restrictions, this wave could make for a nasty spring.
Ontario is not providing positive test counts, and Premier Doug Ford, as well as Health Minister Christine Elliott and Chief Medical Officer of Health Kieran Moore, have all been eerily quiet on the mounting sixth wave with just weeks to go before the provincial election on June 2.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 Science Advisory Table director Dr. Peter Jüni warned reporters on Wednesday that infections have likely jumped up to as many as 120,000 per day.
As of Friday, there are over 28,500 active cases in the province with the virus and 1,135 in hospital including ICU beds, compared with around 15,400 active cases and 644 in hospital just a few weeks earlier, on March 17. But experts can only make educated guesses as to what the total infection numbers are looking like right now.
The province publishes COVID-19 wastewater signal data, compiled by detecting the level of SARS-CoV-2 gene copies across 103 wastewater treatment plants, pumping stations and sewersheds in Ontario’s 34 public health units.
This scientific sampling of poop-saturated effluent has proven to be the best indicator of the 6th wave’s progression in the absence of meaningful updates from government and health officials.
The radio silence from the provincial government has many looking to wastewater data as the only reliable source of information, leading a few to make hilarious comments suggesting that human excrement is more informative than Doug Ford.
It wasn’t just a lone commenter making this claim. Many have made shared tweets with more or less the exact same message, some showing a little less restraint in their choice of words.
One joined in the chorus of boos with the searing jab, “some would argue that shit has always been more honest and informative than Ford.”
Another said “The message is not getting through to our elected leaders. That is why I have started mailing my personal wastewater to Doug Ford.”
Unless the government changes its tune, it looks like wastewater will be our only accurate window into the severity of the 6th wave. Or, as another commenter so eloquently put it, “Shit just got real.”