When a new Major League Baseball stadium is designed, designers start at home plate and work from there, ostensibly to ensure good visibility throughout the park.

They have to rethink that. You need to start with the washrooms and work from there.

At classic ballparks, peeing missed three innings.

The big complaint about last week’s Fest of Ale was that there were long lines for the portable washrooms at Okanagan Lake Park.

Boy do we ever live in a bad community if that’s the worst thing that happened?

It reminded me of the musical “Urinetown” where the characters are tortured through grand ventures and not allowed to use the restrooms.

Sally Otto, a COVID-19 modeling expert, does not use the “sixth wave” term used across Canada to describe the current number of cases resulting from the Omicron BA.2 subvariant, and instead refers to this period as a second omicron wave.

“What we’re seeing — and this is great news — is evidence that the BA.2 wave is receding,” said Otto, an evolutionary biologist and mathematical modeler at the University of British Columbia.

“We see (the decrease) in the wastewater, we also see it in the number of cases over 70,” Otto said. “We will issue a report on Wednesday.”

The drop isn’t steep, Otto said, but it plateaued last week and the trend since is enough to give modelers confidence it’s a downtrend. Infection rates for the second Omicron wave are half those of the first Omicron wave in January and February, which are the highest infection numbers of the pandemic, she said.

When people feel like many around them got or have recently had COVID-19, it’s because we’re falling from sky-high levels to near-sky-high levels, she said.

Otto said she wasn’t expecting a summer break.

“It’s not like flu and the transmission rate is still so high that you can get strong waves even in the summer season,” Otto said.

Summer weather will no doubt bring people to more outdoor areas where infection is less likely, but “I’m not sure we can expect a summer without a wave,” Otto said.

Epidemiologists and modeling and public health experts are observing a number of Omicron subvariants – Omicron BA.2.21 and BA.2.12.1 spreading here and in the United States, BA.4 and BA.5 driving spikes in South Africa .

Otto claimed that we have good immunity to all Omicron variants at the moment, but was concerned about the variants that might appear in a few months as immunity wears off from third vaccinations.

“This puts us in a position to start again with the next variant,” said Otto. She said that any next possible variant of concern would need to surpass Omicron, and that would be a challenge because Omicron is more of an upper respiratory virus that is very easily transmitted.

The provincial health officer, in an update on vaccination rates from health professionals last week, encouraged those who haven’t had their booster shot to get one now and those who are unwell to stay home. dr Bonnie Henry said that in most cases, people who get COVID-19 now don’t get seriously ill because of high vaccination rates.

Henry anticipates BC will enter a period of “relative ease” for the foreseeable future, but needs to be alert to what could happen in the fall. “We have to be prepared that we’re going to see a spike in the fall,” Henry said.

“I hope and I expect that we never have to issue orders that require people to do things like we did when we didn’t know what was going on for the last two and a half years,” Henry explained to The People have learned what layers of protection they need to stay safe.

Otto said she would hesitate to raise people’s hopes for an end to restrictions should they be required again in the autumn.

“I’m confident too,” said Otto. “It’s just that I think we have to be prepared and anticipate that we might get a more transferrable, uglier version. I think if you tell the public no more restrictions then they will get angry if that changes.”

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