We posted our first COVID-19 blog on February 24, 2020, when there were only as few as 11 active cases in Canada. During the past week, I'm happy to see that many businesses in Canada made their very first announcement about COVID-19 in Canada, after the number of Canadian active cases reached 3 digits. It's better late than never.
In this blog post, I'd like to discuss what has changed since our last blog post, and how Homadorma hosts should respond to prepare for the virus spread.
Are Canadians in danger?
We've been getting inquiries from our communities about things that show up often on the news recently, the Novel Coronavirus, or by its official name, COVID-19. Since the case is still developing, information from various sources could be confusing and conflicting. So we feel it is our responsibility to bring our hosts to the right path in terms of battling with COVID-19. Let's get started.
What is COVID-19?
According to BC Centre of Disease Control,
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses found mostly in animals. In humans, they can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV). The new coronavirus has been named SARS-CoV-2. The symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, are similar to other respiratory illnesses, including the flu and common cold. They include cough, sneezing, fever, sore throat and difficulty breathing.
How did COVID-19 start and spread?
Though some researchers believe the 2019 novel coronavirus is related to human interaction with wildlife animals, there is no solid evidence to back up the theory yet. What we do know is how it spreads in the public.
Coronavirus is transmitted via larger liquid droplets when a person coughs or sneezes. The virus can enter through these droplets through the eyes, nose or throat if you are in close contact. The virus is not known to be airborne (e.g. transmitted through the particles floating in the air) and it is not something that comes in through the skin.
Are Canadians in danger?
Marketing, used to be easy. Back in the 60s of the 20th century, TV was the dominant communication channel. Put any message out there as a TV commercial. Repeat it a thousand times, you get a legendary brand. That was the story of Marlboro Man.
Fast forward to the early 2000s, marketing was no longer a simple thing to do. Every marketing manager was faced with a million channels to choose from. How to effectively allocate the budget so that we don't spray and pray? Or more importantly, when marketing does work, how do I know which initiative worked, and why?
Interestingly, the last 10 years seem to have announced the end of this guessing game. Web Analytics, helps you figure out what your audience is doing on your website. Quite a few tools are able to do it at almost no cost. A/B testing, makes it so easy to run your own focus group. And again, the tools are almost free. No wonder the traditional marketing research giant, AC Nielson, and its supposedly successor, Comscore, are not performing so well in the stock market.
Top universities in Canada do not like getting ranked numerically. The disapproval by university officials reached a point in 2006 that 11 universities refused to complete the university ranking survey by Maclean's.
While the university ranking might be oversimplifying a rather complicated topic, it is exactly what students need to know to understand the difference from one university to another, and help them guide their selections of undergraduate program to enter. In an increasingly globalized economy, students are getting curious about how universities perform with their peers not just in the country, but in the entire world. That explains the popularity gain of world university rankings by QS, Times, and U.S. News. So I did an aggregation of data to save your time of compiling something similar, with insights to follow.
Here is a comparison of Canadian university rankings published by QS, Times, U.S. News and Maclean's. I added a column "Average" to show the average rankings, and a column "Standard Deviation" to show, well, how diversely publishers view the rankings.
The Top 3
University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, and McGill University are considered the Top 3 Canadian universities by QS, Times and U.S. News. Maclean's, on the other hand, only agree with others on the reputation of University of Toronto. The top 3 universities locate in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, the largest 3 cities in Canada.
A blog where Homadorma team share information with our hosts and students.