BC back to (COVID) school

School is about to re-start after Christmas break, lots of questions remain.

Jens von Bergmann HsingChi von Bergmann

18 minute read

(Joint with HsingChi von Bergmann, health science education researcher, professor at UBC Faculty of Dentistry, previously associate professor and science teacher educator at UofC) Schools across BC are set to resume this coming Monday, January 4th. Meanwhile British Columbia universities have delayed the start of the semester by a week to gauge the fallout from Christmas and New Year celebrations, and other Canadian provinces with similar case rates are delaying their school starts, Ontario by at least a week, Manitoba will keep grades 7 to 12 in remote learning for two weeks while younger children can choose between remote and in-class learning, and Regina is keeping students in remote learning for the first week after the break.

Covid testing data in BC

Testing data in BC shoud be straighforward to interpret, but it's surprisingly tricky.

Jens von Bergmann

11 minute read

What do we know about COVID-19 testing in BC? That’s a surprisingly tricky question, so I decided to do a quick post on this. Why do we test? The main use of testing is diagnostic and to break transmission chains. If we suspect a person has COVID-19 that person will go into self-isolation and seek a test. If the test confirms the suspicion, we contact trace the COVID-positive person and ask close contacts to self-isolate to break transmission chains.

What to Expect from an Empty Homes Tax

With more Canadian cities announcing their interestest in an Empty Homes Tax, what should they expect?

Nathan Lauster Jens von Bergmann

7 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) Empty Homes Taxes are back in the news! In a very short time period, we’ve got Vancouver raising its Empty Homes Tax rate from 1% to 3%, based in part on a report from CMHC about a sharp rise in condos on the rental market, we’ve got Toronto eyeing its own Empty Homes Tax, and now reports suggest that even Ottawa is considering getting in on the game.


Tongfen is now on CRAN, time for a short overview of what tongfen is and how it aids research on longitudinal spatial data on different yet congruent geographies.

Jens von Bergmann

12 minute read

The tongfen R package is now on CRAN, so it’s time for an overview post. Tongfen has changed a bit since it’s inception and is now a lot more flexible but slightly more abstract to use. What is tongfen? Tongfen, 通分 in Chinese, generally denotes the process of bringing two fractions onto the least common denominator. This is akin to the problem of making data on different but congruent geographies comparable by finding a least common geography.

COVID-19 Data in BC

Looking into what's going wrong with BC Covid data

Jens von Bergmann

9 minute read

We are growing increasingly concerned with the COVID-19 situation in BC. In particular the way there seems to be no strategy or goal to stop rising case numbers, and the relativism that excuses this by pointing to other provinces and countries that are doing worse. At upward of 150 cases a day we are looking at an average of one death a day and unknown numbers, likely in the mid to high two digits, with long lasting morbidity due to a COVID-19 infection.