Covid Briefing from the Tomb

Yes, we’re still naming these after old Paul Naschy werewolf movies, because why the fuck not? Today we’ve got a late start, which is unusual since the briefings moved to this plain briefing room in the Sir John A. Macdonald Building. Which nomenclature is surely going to be questioned the next time a statue is toppled. But the delay is a damn good thing, because I’m late and my coffee hasn’t finished brewing yet. You can tell, because I’ve already sworn twice.

Can’t wait till La Covid Briefing Bingo del Hombre Lobo

Our current and previous bingo cards:

And meanwhile, in Canada.

At a news conference on Parliament Hill, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic. The prime minister is joined by federal minister Ahmed Hussen (families, children and social development) and Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer.

Mark “journalist sits in the front row” and “Blue suit” squares. I should make a “starts late” square. Oh, and there’s “Building back better” so mark that off.

And there’s the “App” square as well. Oh, and I forgot “Begins in English” and “Maple leaf accessory” for the mask. And yes, certainly I’m over-thinking this because I’m bored, but I wonder what makes the difference between days we get “Bonjour à tous” and “Bonjour tout le monde.” I feel like on the latter days, le monde must have done something to get sent to the principal’s office.

Now we’re talking about the national homelessness strategy and the new Rapid Housing Initiative which is worth an even billion. The pandemic has added housing pressure, of course: how do you self-isolate if you live in public? For all that a billion dollars seems a great deal of money, one thing we do know is that every dollar invested in housing the homeless reduces social costs of homelessness by more than a dollar fifty.

There’s a “names small business” and I’m going to rule that the homelessness announcement as well as the rent supports and the rest altogether counts as “Finds a new way to give Canadians money.” Trudeau’s not the only one in a generous mood today.

The only drawback to doing these live is that my coffee is sitting in the kitchen waiting for me to get it, and I can’t. If you knew how good my coffee is, and how undercaffeinated I currently am, you would feel my pain.

And now Minister Hussen is unpacking the details of the anti-homelessness initiative. Glad to hear they’ve picked the right cities. Dr Njoo is going over the Covid stats, average daily case count is over 2,000 and the rate of serious infections is also increasing. Oh, and mark the “My aunt calls during the briefing” square, because yeah, she did.

I need to add another square for “The Roommate turns the tv up so loud I can’t hear the briefing on my noise-cancelling headphones” or would that be too passive-aggressive, even for a Canadian? What if I do it in French, so he can’t read it?

Lordy, it’s SO much easier to liveblog with coffee in me. Not that you care. The public is ruthless.

Now we have “audio malfunction” and “Throat malfunction” and I was in the kitchen getting my coffee, so I didn’t see if we got the “Drinks Water” square as well. Did we? LMK.

Good to hear the first question is about systemic anti-indigenous racism in the RCMP. And it’s not ducked, it’s given a fair “we need to do more” so tick off the “Calls someone out for bigotry” even if it’s the RCMP.

Oh, and two things are clear now that I see it on the laptop rather than the phone: the suit is grey, not blue, and I should have been doing these as Twitter threads all along, duh, oh well, next time.

On a question about the terrorist attack in France, Trudeau extends condolences to the victim, his family, and the nation of France. He states that terrorism is an act that is unlike any other, and unacceptable in any circumstance. I don’t think he named Macron at all; he did it by referring to the nation and the people of “our ally” France.

There are layers of irony in the fact that I’m liveblogging the anti-terroism, anti-pandemic, anti-bigotry briefing while The Roommate’s tv nearly drowns it out. He’s watching Game of Thrones, because of course he is.

And now we have questions about the by-elections, which added 2 Liberals to the total. Congratulating the winners was the first order of business in this briefing. And dammit, I missed it but you should tick off “Swaps out the sign language interpreters”.

And also Trudeau specifically points out that this means they have two women replacing two men, so we are that much closer to a correct and just gender split in the Commons.

“We are in an unprecedented global pandemic that really sucks.” Well, you can’t argue with that. Oh, and then mark the “Who we are” square, because he’s putting that on YOU. YES YOU. We got “Sucks” twice that I counted. Maybe it should be a square? It’s 2020. Seems appropriate.

And we’ve got “concerned priest handclasp” so mark that square too. This is a damn good speech. And there’s your “Thousand Yard Stare” and I’m not kidding. You should watch the video. We’ve only had it once before, when Trudeau was asked about the military report on the long term care homes. Which, yeah.

A reporter just asked the Prime Minister how he’s going to guarantee that information will not change from one week to the next during a global pandemic. Gee, I know someone who got a journalism degree, not a science one.

And yes, “Rapid testing” square also. And also “refers to reporter by name” from earlier. We now have the “Donc” and the “Stern Teacher Voice” squares in action.

I think I’m gonna call this “Pushes responsibility to provinces” when it comes to forcing the use of the app. And now Trudeau is out. Interestingly, the camera follows him out of the room even though Minister Hussen is in the middle of answering a question. Not the choice I would have made, but then I am not a camera op.

Why haven’t we had any Two Michaels questions recently? And I just noticed Canada has had fewer diagnosed cases than the US has had actual deaths. And among the diagnosed, our mortality rate is roughly half of theirs.

And there’s the unequivocal “pushes responsibility to provinces” so if for some reason you didn’t mark that square before, do it now.

Yay! Finally! Mark your “Second wave” square. “Social cohesion” sounds like the most Canadian social principle of all time.

And that’s a wrap. See you at some vaguely-defined point in the future.

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