Following the Freedom Convoy

Following events as they are happening takes a bit of work, and this more so than most. It has the advantage of being stretched out in time, so the reader isn’t overwhelmed by a bunch of things happening all at once, but finding what, and why and when proved more difficult.

Here’s what I have found (incomplete, both due to the sheer amount of information, and my inability to read French).


Friday Jan. 14– Freedom Convoy Facebook Page Created

Sunday Jan. 16GoFundMe page created by Tamara Lich

Canadian Health Minister Defends the need for Trucker Vaccine Mandates (Global News)

Tuesday Jan. 18- BC truckers to join convoy across Canada in protest of mandatory vaccine (Western Standard)

Canada’s trucker vaccine rule is making freight and fruit pricier (Financial Post)

Thousands of Canadian truckers plan ‘Freedom Convoy’ to protest COVID jab mandates (Life Site News)

Thursday Jan. 20Routes and Times for the Convoy became available.

Adopt-A-Trucker set up on GiveSendGo, by Warroom Canada (actually probably happened sometime earlier)

From coast to coast, truck drivers agains COVID-19 vaccination regulations have gathered under the pan-Canadian banner ‘Convoy for Freedom 2022’

Thousands of truck drivers plan to slowly converge and meet on Parliament Hill on Jan. 28

‘Slow-roll’ protest planned by Quebec truckers against COVID-19 vaccination mandate (Global News)

GoFundMe was nearly $580,000 (Global News) at this time.

Saturday Jan. 22– First Convoy was scheduled to leave Prince Rupert, Canada at 7 AM

Also seems to have been the start of Worldwide Freedom Rallies, so that also accounts for some protests going on within Canadian cities.

Monday Jan. 24-Convoys were scheduled to depart from Calgary, Lloydminster, and Prince Albert for Regina

Anti-vaccine and anti-lockdown protests erupted all over Toronto this weekend (blogTO)

Truckers are the proxy protesters for a lot of angry Canadians (National Post, Opinion)

“Freedom Convoy” set to pass through Regina on trek to Ottawa (620 ckrm)

Alberta senator calls anti-mandate protesters a “systemic problem” (The Counter Signal)

Trudeau slams ‘fear mongering’ over COVID vaccine mandate for truckers (National Post)

Who’s Fuelling the Truckers Protesting Vaccine Mandates? (The Tyee)

The trucker caravan from the Edmonton, Alberta, area alone yesterday was said to be more than 40 kilometers in length before arriving in Calgary to head east to Ottawa.”

50,000 trucks heading toward Ottawa to demand an end to COVID mandates (Life Site)

Wednesday Jan. 26– Convoy scheduled to depart Kenora for Thunder Bay

(Posted Jan. 26- but may include video from prior days

Freedom Convoy 2022 was well received entering TB (Lake Superior News)

Transport minister concerned trucker convoy becoming a lightning rod for far-right fringe (National Post)

“Freedom Convoy” organizer says it’s not affiliated with extremist groups (Daily Hive)

Massive Crowds Cheer as Canadian Truckers Lead ‘Freedom Convoy’ Protesting Vaccine Mandates (CBN News)

Trucker convoy reaches Ontario amid fears of violence from fringe groups in Ottawa (blogTO)

“The small fringe minority of people who are on the way to Ottawa who are holding unacceptable views that they are expressing do not represent the views of Canadians who have been there for each other”

-Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
“…small fringe minority….”

Friday Jan. 28– Convoys depart for Ottawa- with only two routes scheduled to reach Ottawa on Saturday

Canada must confront the toxic ‘Freedom Convoy’ head-on (Washington Post, Opinion)

Support for Freedom Convoy heats up despite Trudeau’s chill (Post Media)

There’s a lot of trucks in Freedom Convoy 2022 but not nearly the 50,000 they claim (National Post)

Freedom Convoy spokesman Benjamin Dichter joins Tucker Carlson to discuss the huge trucker protest (The Post Millennial)

Canadian Freedom Truckers Inspire The World As they Get Closer to Ottawa To Stand Up To Trudeau (SGT Report)

Ottowa police warn residents to stay away as ‘Freedom Convoy’ arrives in the city (The Peterborough Examiner)

Trudeau concerned trucker convoy converging on Parliament Hill could turn violent (Vancouver Sun)

Convoys of Canadian trucks are en route to Ottawa for a protest against vaccine mandates. (New York Times)

Here’s the Latest Update After GoFundMe Froze Millions Raised for Canada’s Anti Vaccine Mandate ‘Freedom Convoy’ (Daily Wire)

What the truckers want (and why Ottawa can’t give it to them (National Post)

GoFundMe finally releases $6.3 million for Trucker Freedom Convoy (From the Trenches)

Sunday Jan. 30– Protests Day 2

Freedom Convoy: Truckers cause chaos in Ottawa after second day of protests (BBC)

Multiple criminal investigations underway for ‘desecration’ of Canadian monuments after protests against Covid-19 mandates, police say (CNN)

Freedom Convoy 2022 live updates: House to resume sitting, truckers plan new protests (National Post)

‘Freedom!’ Dutch Truckers Join Canadians in Convoying Against Lockdown Measures (Breitbart)

Convoy protesters make for ‘a really tough day’ at Ottawa’s Shepherds of Good Hope shelter: CEO (Calgary Herald)

Swastikas, other hate symbols displayed at Canadian protest against COVID Mandates (Times of Israel)

Interview with Canadian Member of Parliament Leslyn Lewis

‘Tyrant On The Run’: Internet Blasts Trudeau For Fleeing Capital As ‘Freedom Convoy’ Protest Heads His Way (Daily Wire)

CTV News “Heavy police presence monitoring trucker convoy in Ottawa”

Australian Freedom Convoy 2022 in pictures and videos (Faith Reporters)

Police Report No Violence as Thousands Stage Peaceful Protest in Canadian Capital Over Mandates (Epoch Times)

Justin Trudeau moved to a secret location as thousands in Canada protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates for truckers and other restrictions (Yahoo News)

Everything we know so far about the Nazi Flag guy (True North)

Convoy to DC 2022 (Marshall Report)

Saskatchewan premier issues letter in support of truckers: Police makes ‘no sense’ (The Gazette)

Convoy Organizers hold first press conference

Tuesday Feb. 1– Protests Day 4

Truck blockade continues at U.S. border as RCMP ready to make arrests, tow vehicles (Lethbridge News)

Freedom Convoy: Blockade at Alberta border crossing ‘unlawful’ (BBC)

Canadian police move against truck blockade at US-Canada border (Freight Waves)

Alberta towing companies reject requests to supply trucks to RCMP (Western Standard)

Canada ‘Freedom Convoy’: Ottawa police set up hate crime hotline despite admitting protests remain peaceful (Tribune Media)

Canada’s Freedom Convoy has perfectly exposed legacy media’s conceited bias (EU Times)

Freedom Convoy refuses to free Ottawa (National Post)

Shared by the Freedom Convoy 2022 Facebook Page

Israelis To Join Canada, Other Countries in ‘Convoy of Freedom’ (Israel 365 News)

Canada convoy: Truckers ban media as Trudeau refuses meeting and calls protest an ‘insult to truth’ (Independent)

After Over $10 Million Raised for Canadian Truckers, GoFundMe Freezes the Page (Pacific Pundit)

Thursday Feb. 3 Protests Day 6

Freedom convoy plans move to Winnipeg (The Carillon)

Freedom Convoy: No plans to call in military, says Trudeau (BBC)

RCMP and CBP say safety is top priority in the freedom convoy protests (Montana Right Now)

Freedom convoy’s GoFundMe suspended following complaints from Ottawa government (Rebel News)

Quebec Premier open to meeting with Quebec freedom convoy (Rebel News)

Facebook and GoFundMe Attack Freedom Trucker Convoy in Attempt to Derail Workers’ Uprising (SGT Report)

Justice Centre representing 2022 Truckers’ Freedom Convoy (Justice Centre)

How Canada’s ‘freedom convoy’ was overtaken by a radical fringe (National Post)

Freedom Convoy Feeding Homeless and Truckers

Toronto police, mayor say they won’t allow ‘Convoy for Freedom’ to negatively affect residents, businesses (

Toronto doing ‘everything we can’ to prevent repeat of Ottawa’s disruption at Saturday truck protests, Tory says (Toronto Star)

Blockade at Coutts Border Crossing

Saturday Feb. 5 Protest Day 8

‘Freedom Convoy’ supporters roll through Niagara (Niagara Falls Review)

Freedom Convoy: GoFundMe seizes funds of Canada ‘occupation’ (World Justice News)

Full text here

Crowds of demonstrators join rallies across Canada as Covid-19 trucker protests spread (CNN)

Makeshift Restaurant Built Amidst Downtown Freedom Convoy Protest

As ‘Freedom Convoy’ hits Toronto,other cities, the anti-mandate movement is larger and faces more opposition than ever (Toronto Star)

‘Beginning of the end’: GoFundMe faces avalanche of backlash after yanking Freedom Convoy campaign (BizPac Review)

GoFundMe Reverses Plans on ‘Freedom Convoy’ Donations, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Promises Investigation (MSN)

Republican leaders commit to investigating GoFundMe because the company took down the Freedom Convoy’s fundraiser (Blaze Media)

Here’s How the so-called Freedom Convoy is still raising ‘thousands of dollars’ per minute even without GoFundMe (Toronto Star)

Elon Musk Responds to GoFundMe Canceling Freedom Convoy Fund For Canadian Truckers (Daily Wire)

Freedom Convoy: Media SMEAR Campaign (SGT Report)

Toronto sees massive Freedom Convoy protest packing city’s downtown (Rebel News)

Farm Tractors in Toronto to Support the “Freedom” Convoy (Nouspique)

Ottawa declares ‘state of emergency’ amid continuing blockades and raucous protests over covid measures (MSN)

Watch: Driver Deliberately Hits 4 Protesters in One Of The Many Canadian ‘Freedom Convoy’ Protests (Clash Daily)

Man plows SUV into Freedom Convoy protesters (News Wars)

Hit-and-run injures protesters at Winnipeg freedom rally (Rebel News)

February 5th, Ottowo

Monday Feb. 7 Protest Day 10

Backers of ‘Freedom Convoy’Cite Overcoming Communism in Their Support of Canadian Truckers (Singapore Daily News)

Breaking: Ontario Superior Court grants injunction against honking in downtown Ottowa (Rebel News)

Breaking: Ontario Liberals threaten to Confiscate trucks from peaceful protesters if they don’t leave Ottawa (The Post Millennial)

UK Freedom Convoy tells GB News: ‘We’re not far-right, we want the freedom of choice’ (Global News)

Trucker convoy: Statement calls police fuel confiscation ‘inhumane’ (Vancouver Sun)

Freedom convoy protesters in Ottawa are carrying around jerrycans in protest to the arrests of individuals with fuel on their person

The Freedom Convoy has been peaceful and respectful, despite claims to the contrary (Life Site)

Freedom Convoy movement spreads across the globe (European Renaissance)

Ottawa is canceling police officers’ days off as the Freedom Convoy protests continue. Some have worked 2 weeks without a break. (Insider)

GiveSendGo fundraiser for Freedom Convoy hits $4.5 million after GoFundMe shuts page down (The Gazette)

Saturday January 15th- requirements for entry into Canada changed for unvaccinated (or partially vaccinated) truck drivers. While Canadian truck drivers can still enter Canada (and be subject to testing and quarantine requirements), those that are not Canadian will be turned away at the border.

COVID-19 vaccine mandate, ongoing labour shortages challenging for Manitoba trucking industry (CBC News)

Monday Jan. 17Truckers Protest Vaccine Mandate at the Emerson Border Crossing

Steinbach Online

Wednesday Jan. 19Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) releases statement on Protests- in short, they do not support them.

The trucking industry was caught by surprise on Jan. 12 when the Canada Border Services Agency sent a statement to media saying that unvaccinated and partially vaccinated truck drivers crossing into Canada from the United States would remain exempt from the vaccine mandate that had long been expected to come into force last weekend.

The federal government reversed that the next afternoon with a statement that said the information shared the day before had been sent in error.  The exemption would still end Jan. 15, meaning truck drivers would need to be fully vaccinated if they wanted to avoid a two-week quarantine and pre-arrival molecular test for COVID-19 before crossing into Canada.

Freedom Convoy Truckers Protesting Covid Mandates Travel to Ottawa (Discover Weyburn)

Friday Jan. 21Truck convoy to pass through Toronto in protest against vaccine mandates (blogTO)

A GoFundMe has raised more than $800,000 to support the truckers, and fundraiser organizer Tamara Lich demands the government stop all mandates.”

President of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada, Mike Millian, discussed the vaccination requirements in both the United States (beginning Jan. 22) and Canada

Convoy of truckers against vaccine mandates ready to roll on Ottowa (Toronto Sun)

Sunday Jan. 23– Convoy was scheduled to leave Prince George at 7 AM, bound for Calgary, while another departed for Calgary from Vancouver.

Hundreds of truckers headed to Ottawain ‘Freedom Rally’ convoy against vaccine mandate (CBC News)

At this point- I might recommend muting youtube, otherwise there is a lot of honking.

Rallies also occurred at overpasses.

GoFundME over $2.5 Million (CBC News)

Tuesday Jan. 25– Convoys were scheduled to depart from Regina for Kenora

‘Freedom Rally’ truckers convoy hits Ontario- picking up Conservative political support as it rolls (Toronto Star)

Funds frozen after millions raised for truckers protesting vaccine mandate (CTV News)

Trucker convoy might not get the $5 million it raised to protest vaccine mandates in Canada (blogTO)

Trudeau Is Ignoring The Freedom Convoy Because He Knows His Agenda Is Failing (National Telegraph, Opinion)

Canadian Truckers Lead ‘Freedom Convoy’ To Ottawa To Protest Vaxx Mandate (Daily Wire)

Thursday Jan. 27– Several Groups rolling on thursday; The group from Thunder Bay scheduled bound for Sault STe. Marie, with additional groups departing from St. Johns, Enfield, Riviere-du-Loup, Windsor, Sarnia, Niagra and Toronto

Canadian ‘freedom’ truckers massive vaccine mandate protest convoy may smash world record (Fox News)

Canadians Furious After Trudeau’s ‘Fringe Minority’ Comment As Thousands of Truckers Head to Capital (Daily Wire)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is isolating after learning of COVID exposure (Toronto Star)

Freedom Convoy plans to gridlock Ottawa until all vaccine mandates repealed (Edmonton Journal)

Elon Musk tweets in support of Canadian truckers ahead of ‘Freedom Rally’ protest (MSN)

Large Amount of support for Freedom Convoy (Lake Superior News)

This trucker thing probably isn’t going to end well (National Post)

Polls Show Popular Support for Trucker Convoy in Canada Despite Trudeau’s Claim it Represents ‘Fringe Minority’ (American Greatness)

Saturday Jan. 29– Last two convoys scheduled to arrive in Ottowa

Freedom Convoy: Why Canadian truckers are protesting in Ottawa (BBC News)

Trucker convoy rumbles into Canada’s capital carrying COVID and mandate beefs (Freight Waves)

Canada’s ‘Freedom Convoy’ of up to 50,000 truckers begins to arrive in Ottawa ahead of a weekend of protests against the vaccine requirements to cross (Canada Free Press)

Washington Post political cartoon labels trucker convoy as ‘fascism,’ which ignites fierce firestorm: ‘Devoid of wit or truth. Shameful and pathetic.’ (Blaze Media)

Demonstrators descend upon Sask. Legislative Building for ‘solidarity convoy’ opposing vaccine mandate for truckers (CTV News)

Fact Check: Canada truck convoy not an official Guinness World Record (Yahoo News)

Freedom Convoy 2022, Saturday: Thousands pack Parliament Hill for protest (National Post)

Terry Fox statue defaced with “mandate freedom” amid Ottawa Protest (Daily Hive)

Province in Canada bans gathering along highway ‘in support of the 2022 Freedom Convoy’ (BizPac Review)

Trudeau Flees as trucker convoy Enters Ottawa (The Week)

Trucks traveled great distances to be in Ottawa, so did police snipers (Toronto Sun)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau silent as thousands join truckers’ protest in Ottawa (National Post)

Justin Trudeau and his family flee Canadian capital Ottawa as up to 50,000 ‘Freedom Convoy’ anti-vaccine mandate truckers arrive at his office -days after he dismissed them as a ‘small fringe minority’ (Daily Mail)

The “Freedom Convoy” is being prepared in Europe (French Daily News)

Ottowa Freedom Convoy Peaceful (Lake Superior News)

Monday Jan. 31– Protests Day 3

Is Freedom Convoy Coming to America? (Transportation Nation)

Freedom Convoy Organizer Tearfully Tells of Canadians Helping Truckers (Daily Wire)

“Freedom Convoy” draws support and criticism (Toronto Star)

More than $9 million raised for so-called Freedom Convoy (Daily Hive)

Pierre Poilievre defends #TruckersForFreedom Protest”

Soup kitchen harassment to confederate flags: Controversial moments at Canadian trucker convoy protest (Independent)

Freedom Convoy dismantles stereotypes about who is opposed to vaccine mandates (National Post)

Washington Post, MSNBC trash Canadian ‘Freedom Convoy’ truckers: ‘It’s a cult’ (Fox News)

Post continues- far longer than I can get a readable screenshot
Message to Truckers- mostly organizational updates, but well worth watching

Wednesday Feb. 2
Protests Day 5

Canadian trucker ‘Freedom Convoy’: 2 charged, 13 active investigations (Fox News)

‘Significant element’ from U.S. involved in self-described ‘Freedom Convoy’ in Canada, official says (Washington Post)

New developments in border protest, local businesses see impacts (Montana Right Now)

Freedom Convoy Working? Saskatchewan Dropping All COVID Restrictions, Vax Passports By End Of Month (Sign of the Times)

Freedom Convoy: Organizers pledge to stay ‘as long as it takes’ (BBC News)

Freedom Convoy: Police Move in as public turns on truckers blocking US-Canada border (Independent)

Ottowa police may seek military assistance as ‘Freedom Convoy’ protesters dig in (Toronto Star)

Day 5: Freedom Convoy still strong in Ottawa (Rebel News)

Friday Feb. 4 Protest Day 7

My First Week in CanadaA bit lengthy, but written by someone in Ottawa

‘Freedom Convoy’ Lawyers Demand GoFundMe Release Fundraising Haul (Daily Wire)

#Breaking: GoFundMe refuses to release money donated to Freedom Convoy (True North)

Majority of Canadians disagree with ‘freedom convoy’ on vaccine mandates and lockdowns (McMaster University)

West Virginia Attorney General Slams GoFundMe, Urges Residents To Report Deceptive Practices After ‘Freedom Convoy’ Page Shut Down (Daily Wire)

Ottawa Police ADMIT to lobbying GoFundMe to withhold funds from Canadian truckers (The Post Millenial)

Ottawa police promise heavy crackdown on Freedom Convoy, despite data showing crime down in Ottawa (Rebel News)

Liberal MP compares freedom convoy funding to “terrorist financing” (True North)

Fact Check: Canadian ‘Freedom Convoy’ protest didn’t surpass size of country’s army (Yahoo News)

We need protections from the ‘freedom convoy’ in Ottawa that don’t involve the police (Queens Journal)

Counterprotesters vs Freedom Convoy (notTV)

Military tells Ottawa to find someone else to evict the truckers (National Post)

Freedom Convoy Expected to Grow! Truckers Vow to Continue “Until It’s A Free Nation Again (SGT Report)

Ottawa police deploy more officers ahead of weekend demonstration

Where did all of the THOUSANDS of trucks end up in Ottawa? Diverted by police AWAY from downtown (Rebel News)

Tow Truck Companies Refuse to Remove Convoy Trucks

Truck convoy: $9.8M class-action lawsuit filed against “Freedom Convoy”; GoFundMe ends fundraising campaign; Protesters spotted in the suburbs; Kitchen erected in Confederation Park (The World News)

‘Vancouver doesn’t want you here’: Mayor addresses Saturday’s planned protest convoy (Vancouver is Awesome)

Possibly a Freedom Convoy getting started in Berlin, but my German is as poor as my French, so I’m not certain.

Sunday Feb. 6 Protest Day 9

State of emergency declared in Ottawa

Breaking: Man charged in Winnipeg car attack on convoy protest is radical-left anarchist (Rebel News)

Freedom Convoy Raises $2M on GiveSendGo After GoFundMe Removes Campaign (Newsweek)

‘Freedom Convoy’ protest exposes hypocrisy in Ottawa (Toronto Star, Opinion)

Canadian policecall the Freedom Convoy a ‘nation-wide insurrection’ (The Blaze)

GoFundMe unable to stop donations to Freedom Convoy (Lake Superior News)

Ottowa Police Back Down to Freedom Convoy Protesters (The Liberty Beacon)

Cruz Takes Action In Pushing Federal Agency To Investigate GoFundMe For Canceling Freedom Convoy (Daily Wire)

Ottawa Police Seize Fuel From Freedom Convoy Protest Site, Make More Arrests (The Epoch Times)

The Freedom Convoy dance part in downtown Ottawa continues (Canada Free Press)

Several people arrested for bringing gas to ‘Freedom Convoy’ demonstrators in Ottawa, police say (CTV News)

Freedom Convoy Responds to Ottowa Police

Breaking: Police begin ARRESTING convoy protesters outside parliament (Rebel News)

‘Possibly Illegal behavior’: Ashley Moody blasts GoFundMe after Freedom Convoy Flip (Florida Politics)

Note: If you want something up to date, go elsewhere. We come out on Tuesdays.

Not much on the blockades at the border? No, that’s a separate post.

If you’re interested in following this in real time, your best bet would seem to be using social media and watching live-streams.


Red Cross Blood Shortage

The Red Cross has declared a blood shortage– the number of people donating has dropped 10% since covid began. The majority of blood drives are college campus associated, so covid has led to a decrease there as well, especially with recent cancellations due to an increase in the omicron variant. This combines with a typical seasonal decline as travel becomes more difficult during the winter months.

The Red Cross is responsible for 40% of the blood supply, and with the shortage, hasn’t been able to meet the needs of hospitals requesting blood.

Blood, like the majority of human tissues, can’t be fabricated in the laboratory. The only source of blood for people that need transfusions is blood from donors. While researchers are looking into ways to grow organs, and artificial skin has been approved by the FDA, the vast majority of human tissue comes from donors. Either organ donors, or grafts from elsewhere in the patient’s body.

The Red Cross is requesting both donations (blood and platelets) and volunteers to help with organizing and operating blood drives. They are currently automatically entering anyone who donates into a drawing for $500 gift card.

All blood types are needed, especially types O- and O+. People are still eligible to donate if they have had the covid vaccine, though they’ll need to know which vaccine they received. More about eligibility requirements can be found here.


In Case You Missed It

This time last year, we were writing about the Health Hazards of Loneliness (many!), Irish Democracy (not exclusively Irish), trying recipes: Frybread (good) & Dried Corn Soup (we’re doubtful), and learning about the insects we see at this time of year, both indoors and outdoors (Crane Flies).

How unhealthy is loneliness?

Are isolation and loneliness actually bad for our health? Do they increase the risk of dying?

Irish Democracy

I started looking for a definition of “Irish Democracy.”  Found all sorts of descriptions of government in the Republic of Ireland – but nothing that described the unorganized ignoring of laws that lack popular support.  The term “Irish democracy” refers to uncoordinated, wide-spread civil disobedience.  An example is a sign in the window requiring face masks by order of Governor Bullock – and once you’re inside, you’re the only one masked. I started into a store, pulling my mask on.  The guy in a Stetson alongside me was humming “Desperados waiting for a train.”  I haven’t…

Fry Bread

South Dakota’s official state bread is Fry Bread – Probably the best I ever tasted was with wojapi when I visited the Lower Brule Reservation.  I was fortunate to meet, and get to know, Mike Jandreau, who was Tribal President.  His first question was, “What do you know about tribal sovereignty.”  I could answer competently because I had traveled with Joel Clarenbeau as he studied the topic.  The Lower Brule Reservation was settled under the leadership of Chief Solomon Iron Nation (1815-1894), a man who accomplished a great deal for his people.  I don’t have the…

Dried Corn Soup

Once, when I visited the Lower Brule, I was served soup made from dry field corn.  There was no large explanation, just the opportunity for the wasichu to recognize how tough the times were in the first days of the reservations and the last days of the buffalo.  While it’s not five-star cuisine, the recipe probably has a place with anyone who stashes a couple bushels of dried corn in the emergency rations stash. 1 lb. lean boned beef, cut in cubes1 tbsp. bacon drippings4 c. water1 c. dried corn1/2 tsp. salt Brown meat.  Add water;…

Winter Crane Flies: widespread and little-known

As I was walking over to my in-law’s place one chill and sunny afternoon, I happened to spot a fly. A gangly, long-legged fly, seeming to bounce up and down in the brisk winter air. Unlike the cluster flies lining the edges of our ceilings, this one was fairly active, despite the temperature.


Trego School Went to Distance Learning Last Week- Back in Person

Last week, Trego School went to distance-learning in response to a covid exposure in the school, in accordance with the school’s Health and Safety plan. School resumed in-person this week.

A bit before this time last year, Trego School was also doing distance learning. That August (2020), the school had installed shields around the desks, HEPA filters, as well as filters in the school’s heaters. Since we hadn’t had all that much in the way of local cases, the filters proved of far more utility for filtering the smoke out of the air that September.

Trego School moves to Distance Learning

In accordance with the school’s Health and Safety Plan, the school has moved temporarily to distance learning. The School’s Health and Safety Plan is a three part plan outlining the response to each potential scenario. Part A is “Traditional Learning with Precautions” and has been in place since the school year started in September. The…

Filters come to Trego School

Trego School’s Health and Safety Plan includes HEPA filters installed in air purifiers and in the heaters. While the filters for the heaters have not yet arrived (and are not expected to be needed soon, given current temperatures), the others are here. HEPA filters specialize in filtering out the really small, things measured in microns…


School Started on the First

It’s that time of the year again. Classes at Trego School started on Wednesday, September 1st. The Back to School BBQ will be held on Friday, September 10th.

School enrollment at the start of the school year is nearing 30 students. With a fourth classroom teacher hired, class size averages about 7 students per class (7.25 to be more precise).

The district was able to use part of the district’s ESSR (covid relief funds) to fund the hiring of that fourth teacher, a decision made to help keep class sizes small. While classrooms are still multi-grade, most classrooms hold only two grades.

The official count for this year’s enrollment isn’t actually in- for funding purposes, the count happens only twice a year. The first is in October. If enrollment reaches thirty, the amount of funding the school receives will increase.

Looking at the broader trend, we last discussed Trego School enrollment back in January.

Data as of January 2021

This year’s start of 29 is a bit lower than January’s 31. Not a steep decline, but the trend merits watching.


You Need to Check the Experts’ Math

This offers a perspective on covid survival rates, but screws up some simple statistics:

100% – Survival Rate= Infection Fatality Rate.

It’s official data.  It purports to be from CDC.  The author implies possession of a MD.

The math is screwed up.  By a factor of 100.  I learned the difference between decimals and percentages in the fifth or sixth grade – this isn’t a mistake at a graduate stats level, or even freshman stats. It appears someone releasing official data screwed up.  We need to check the math even on official data.

This site has local numbers – and you can contrast them against the CDC statistics:

The local numbers show some anomalies when we compare and contrast them with CDC statistics.  The Libby area shows a cumulative 1,190 cases (in a population of 9,772  that’s 12.2%).  North County shows 467 cases (in a population of 6,470 that’s 7.2%) and Troy shows 258 cases (in a population of 3,435 that’s 7.5%). 

Lincoln County death rates can’t be contrasted with the CDC percentages – the tyranny of small numbers makes it impossible.  That said, in the 70+ age range that the CDC figures identify as a (corrected) 5.4% infection fatality rate, Lincoln County’s charts show 24 deaths in 311 cases – 7.8% – 44% more fatalities than national statistics.  The 3 deaths in the 50-69 age range, with 557 total cases work out amazingly close to the national 0.5% infection fatality rate.

There’s not enough data for me to infer causality.  It is good to have local data available – and I do wonder why the infection rate is higher in Libby.  Checking the math when you can is a good idea.

A Science for Everyone, Community

Other Vaccine Effectiveness

I got the Covid vaccine as soon as I could.  I think I might have been vaccinated earlier but for the manner in which the local government picked folks to vaccinate – I wasn’t sitting by the phone when the call came in, and that healthy, outdoors behavior put me a couple weeks later than I wanted.

I’m one of the people who was in line for the polio vaccine – and it wasn’t far out of the experimental stage.  A classmate who is with you in kindergarten one day, then gone, and the dread word polio makes for a willingness to step up for vaccination.  As a kid, I didn’t know that the Salk vaccine was only 65% effective against one strain, and about 90% effective against the others.  Multiplication and division were still challenges back then – but I got the vaccine.

I don’t need a perfect vaccine – the vaccine is to improve my odds.  I get flu vaccinations, and the table from CDC shows how that works.   The important part is “Adjusted Overall VE (%)

Table. Adjusted vaccine effectiveness estimates for influenza seasons from 2004-2018

CDC calculates vaccine effectiveness estimates through the U.S. VE Network

Influenza SeasonReferenceStudy Site(s)No. of PatientsAdjusted Overall VE (%)95% CI
2018-19Flannery 2020 WI, MI, PA, TX, WA3,2542921, 35
2017-18Rolfes 2019 WI, MI, PA, TX, WA8,4363831, 43
2016-17Flannery 2019 WI, MI, PA, TX, WA74104032, 46
2015-16Jackson 2017 WI, MI, PA, TX, WA68794841, 55
2014-15Zimmerman 2016 WI, MI, PA, TX, WA93111910, 27
2013-14Gaglani 2016 WI, MI, PA, TX, WA59995244, 59
2012-13McLean 2014 WI, MI, PA, TX, WA64524943, 55
2011-12Ohmit 2014 WI, MI, PA, TX, WA47714736, 56
2010-11Treanor 2011 WI, MI, NY, TN47576053, 66
2009-10Griffin 2011 WI, MI, NY, TN67575623, 75
2008-09UnpublishedWI, MI, NY, TN67134130, 50
2007-08Belongia 2011 WI19143722, 49
2006-07Belongia 2009 WI8715222, 70
2005-06Belongia 2009 WI34621-52, 59
2004-05Belongia 2009 WI76210-36, 40

The important thing is that, in 15 years of data, the best record the vaccine had was 60% effectiveness.  The worst was down to 10% effectiveness.  If I’m playing blackjack, and I can get a 10% edge, that’s good.  If I can get a 60% edge, that’s great.  I don’t expect a vaccine -particularly one that had a rushed development-  to be 100%.

Smallpox was ended with a vaccine that was about 95% effective – “Effective smallpox vaccines have a vaccinia titer of approximately 108 pock-forming units per mL, and more than 95% of individuals develop a ‘take’ with neutralizing antibodies after primary vaccination. “ It’s worth remembering that it took several centuries to develop that vaccine.

Vaccines are more a statisticians game, or a gambler’s science.  Today’s polio vaccine is about as close to 100% effective as you can get.  The vaccines aren’t magic bullets – but they are better bullets.  It may take a while – but I’m betting the Coronavirus vaccines will become increasingly effective.  The problem is that the scientists are working on better vaccines, and politicians and administrators are working on press releases.


The Excess Death Data is Available from the CDC

The Center for Disease Control has compiled and released the excess death data for 2020 that gives us a better handle on Covid.  The first charts give a bit of a handle on what was happening:

There are a couple of interesting conclusions – first is that about a third of the excess deaths are not due to covid.  The second is that either the virus treats hispanic and black people different than whites, or that there are intervening variables or spurious correlations.  First, let’s look at the charts by age cohorts

They confirm that Covid was a greater threat to older folks than younger – just like the statistics have been showing us. Next, let’s look at the charts by race and hispanic ethnicity:

I’m not real sure about the relationship based on hispanic ethnicity – one of my colleagues qualifies as hispanic, but mostly Apache ancestry.  Gina is hispanic, but both parents were born in Spain.  Heck, genetically I have some Spanish or Portuguese ancestry, and my people otherwise come from Scotland and points north of there.  On the other hand, I’m waiting for the research that explains the extreme deaths in the category.

The lower left chart shows that the disease did not hit the white population so hard – which intrigues me because that is the oldest of the groups.  I’ll be waiting for more data before I make any inferences.

So click the link, read the CDC article, and start wondering – what hit us half as hard as covid at the same time?


Where Covid Fits in the Demographic Transition Model

The first stage of the demographic transition model includes high birth rates and high death rates – and infectious diseases dominate – for example, the black death was a highly infectious disease that killed millions in Europe – if memory serves, 60% of Venice died, and about a third of Italy’s population.  The 90% fatalities in Constantinople suggests that it was worse in cities.  A time of a life expectancy of around 30 years, because so many died young.  I’m not certain how effective the masks of the time were in combating the disease transmission.

The second stage includes infectious diseases – such as cholera – that could be controlled by sanitation.  Models don’t always fit as well as we would like – at the same time that public health and improved sanitation was getting a handle on cholera, smallpox vaccination was becoming a norm.   It was 1832 when Congress passed the Indian Vaccination Act, ordering the army to vaccinate the Indians.  Typhoid Mary remains in our vocabulary, a woman who showed no outward sign of infection, but spread typhoid wherever she cooked.  In her case, she was basically incarcerated because of her infection (and she kept escaping).  Stage 2 of the demographic transition is characterized by fewer pandemics, and life expectancy may rise as high as 50 years.  Our masking, quarantines and isolation are public health techniques developed in the second stage of demographic transition.  John Snow’s removal of the Broad Street pump handle was very effective at reducing the waterborne cholera transmission.

The third Stage is the stage of degenerative and man-made diseases – picture how cigarettes fit in with lung cancer and heart disease.  Just living longer increases your chances of dying from a degenerative disease.  Infant mortality drops, and life expectancy is pretty much in the mid-fifties.  The public health approach here is to change unhealthy behaviors like smoking while relying on medical research to counteract degenerative diseases.   The term “safe sex” comes from a public health program to reduce AIDS (HIV).  When it works, and it has, we move into the fourth stage of demographic transition.

Stage 4 – where we are in the US today – shows an increase in degenerative diseases, better medical care, and a life expectancy that exceeds 70 years. 

It is no wonder that Covid took everyone by surprise – in Stage 4, we’re used to having pandemics under some form of control – our top 3 causes of death are heart disease, cancer and accidents.  The Corona virus came in with an approach that complemented our stage in the demographic transition model – a pandemic that killed in a relationship to the age of the infected.  Probably the first clue was the word “comorbidity” becoming so much of the vocabulary.  This time we hit a pandemic that worked in combination with the degenerative diseases.  A disease that matches an aging population.  A disease that needed a stage 4 response.  Lacking that stage 4 response, we’ve spent the year responding as we did to diseases during the second stage of demographic transition.

Another Stage 4 pandemic will develop – after all, we have a stage 4 population as an incubator.  We may even develop new strategies for dealing with it.