Week of January Third

What caught my attention the Week of January Third: The power of Amazon, Our World in Data’s Stringency Index, the selfishness of the unvaccinated, and the vacuous social-media influencer


Courtesy of Scott Galloway – it takes Amazon 45 minutes to process an order. That includes the processing, locating, packing, scanning and putting it on a truck for delivery. It takes ten million orders a day. That equates to 115 orders a second. Amazon employs one out of every 153  American workers. 

Personally, I find this very scary. There must be pent-up demand to walk down St. Catherine Street, Robson Street, Oxford Street – London and Sydney, Australia, Fifth Avenue, and, hey Halifax, Spring Garden Road. 

Our World in Data  (“OWD”)

What happened?

Do you ever check the reams of data available on OWD web site? I use it all the time. I have become adept at playing with the options. Often, there are interesting revelations. The World Health Organization named Omicron  a COVID variant on November 26. It was designated as “of concern” due to its ability to spread rapidly. I wondered what examination of its “Stringency Index” would reveal from that date to now.  

The Stringency Index – Canada, green line with all the changes
  • Italy maintained the same stringency score of 71.3 until December 5. On December 6, it put  more measures in place increasing the score to 76.85 where it has remained ever since.
  • France had a stringency score 66.67 on November 26. The score jumped to 72.22 on December 5. and has flat lined since that time.
  • In Canada, the Stringency Index is mostly dependent on provincial government actions. Canada’s November 26 score was 69.91. It dropped to 66.20 on December 3 and to 62.50 on December 6 where it stayed until December 21. The score has since increased five times and now stands at 75.46. 
  • I have included the US. It has the lowest stringency score and the lowest vaccination rate of these four countries. The consequences include the highest rates of case fatality, reproduction, positivity, number of intensive care patients per million people, and confirmed deaths of the Italy, France, Canada, and the US. 

So as a Canadian….

Would not the retention of a flat stringency score of about 70 been better than the erratic reactions by provincial governments across the country? On December 6, did we really need a Québec premier dreaming of house parties of 20 people while Omicron was exploding? At the 70 score, restaurants were open and life had a sense of normality. 

Need to Accommodate Unvaxed 

Erin O’Toole, leader of Canada’s Conservative Party thinks it is time to bend over for the unvaxed. On this issue he is completely out of tune with the majority of adult Canadians. The impact of the unvaccinated:

  • More than half of the people in hospital and in intensive care are the unvaccinated. Think of that! Over 50% from a segment of the population that represents less than 10% of Canada’s adults.
  • There would be no “health care” crisis if the selfish, self-centred , arrogant anti-vaxers had been responsible and community minded. They only care about themselves.
  • The health care crisis due to the unvaxed will lead to deaths from postponed surgeries and diagnoses. Perhaps your loved ones or theirs! Or maybe, them!
  • And, we have them to thank for curfews, school closures, restaurant closures, a ruined holiday season, oh… and so much more.

O’Toole! Time to  catch up with Emmanuel Macron! It is time to make the  lives of the un-vaxed impossible. Bravo to Australia for making Milan Djokovic follow the rules! And, he was, until now, my favourite tennis player, except for the Canadian players! 

Poor Sunwing Airlines 

I don’t think there is anything its crew could have done once the rabble took over! The tour organizer filled the airplane with self-entitled, self-important posers who think they are above the laws of just plain, common decency. A bit of time in off-resort accommodations while they wait forever for flights home, cancellation of influencer contracts, addition to the Transport Canada watchlist, fines, time in jail, criminal records – all so richly deserved!

This class of objectionable youth are the product of Tik-Tok, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Is there anything with less credibility about anything than a vacuous, no talent, no taste social media influencer? Oh, yes! There is! Rex Murphy! I am surprised he didn’t spring to their defence as vociferously as he defended the unvaccinated in the National Post. 

Lets celebrate: 

Vaccinations, tired-out health care workers, the statistical excellence of Our World in Data, the amazing but scary lesson of Amazon, street front retail, Scott Galloway , and the best of the best this week, Australia. 

Big raspberries to:

Erin O’Toole, Milan Djokovic, the social-media influencer cult, the un-vaccinated, Amazon (yes, I admire their accomplishments but I hate the concept),  Rex Murphy, and the worst of this week, Québec’s prime minister François Legault – just a dismal performance from November 26 to today! He seems to have disappeared!

That’s it for the week of January third.

In honour of Australia, a picture taken in Australia on a January day.

We Should Know Better

August 26, 2023

I know! I am going to sound like a grumpy old man. Maybe that is because I am. I have been scratching my head in wonderment at the Taylor Swift phenomena. Is she an Incredible song writer, composer, and performer? I really don’t know! A discussion for another time? But probably not. At my age […]

Not in My Back Yard

August 4, 2023

Don’t build it! At least, Not In My Back Yard ! I acted as an advisor  in the sale of a beautifully natural, 14-acre urban waterfront estate. Existing zoning allowed for the development of 30 to 35 single-family homes, which after road dedication would leave very little green space. I did not think that was […]

Glasgow – That Dear Green Place

July 31, 2023

We were visiting Glasgow (literally that Dear Green Place in Gaelic) to see where my father was born, grew up, and went to University. Fortunately for me, my cousin John from Australia had just visited and had met with historians, Bruce Downie  and Norry Wilson.  So,  we too arranged to meet them in the Govanhill […]

Vienna on Top Again

June 25, 2023

Vienna on top again. This week both Monocle Magazine and The Economist unveiled their quality of life / most liveable city indexes. There are differences in the way each publication sets its index. So it is even more impressive that once again, Vienna tops both lists. I am a bit lazy today so rather than […]

Large interior courtyards

From Hot Bedding to Superblocks

June 20, 2023

Many Viennese went from hot bedding to superblocks overnight. Could they even imagine  an apartment complex 1000 metres long built along two streets with even more massive landscaped courtyards? Could they conceive of 1400 apartment units built to house 5000 people on 56,000 square metres or 38 acres of land.  Or a vertical build-out that […]

Vienna – the World’s Most Livable City

June 16, 2023

Vienna had been a poor city even before the First World War. “Normal” housing arrangements  meant six to eight people sharing one room and a kitchen. Then, in early 1919, just after the Armistice,  the cost of living tripled in two months. Bed lodgers could no longer afford their 8-hours a day in a shared […]