Fury of the Covid Briefing Bingo

Thanks for joining us on this historic day, a day when our neighbors to the south vote to choose their new overlord, less encumbered by Russian hacking efforts than they were last time, if somewhat more encumbered by gun-toting fascist voter intimidation. But we have faith, kittens. We, for once, have faith in America.

Our democracy must be not only the envy of the world but the engine of our own renewal. There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.

William Jefferson Clinton
Linus knows his shit.

It’s also historic because I’m going to try not to drop any F-bombs, in the probably vain attempt to get some rt’s from mainstream Ottawa. I already stopped calling him PM Zoolander: how much can one woman compromise, I ask yez???

Play one card or play them all to win fabulous, completely imaginary prizes:

And here’s our Cpac video:

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 ministers Chrystia Freeland (finance) and Mary Ng (small business, export promotion and international Trade ) and by Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, and Dr. Howard Njoo, the deputy chief public health officer.

And yes, we are still naming them after Paul Naschy Wolfman films, because BECAUSE, that’s why. Today we’re doing Fury of the Wolfman, a classic with a glorious 19% on the tomatometer. And yes, “wolfman” is one word even if “hombre lobo” is two of them. What can we say? English is a capricious language.

In the comments after the post you’ll find some additional squares we missed because we were preoccupied with annoying reporters, sharp red dresses, the dog needing to go out, or similar matters of global import. So remember to check the comments, too.

Not sure why that photographer needs a lens half the length of his arm for this; he’s only about 15 feet from the Prime Minister’s desk. I guess in the age of digital photography “nostril hair resolution” is the standard.

And we’re off! Beginning with a statement of solidarity against terrorist attacks and sympathy to the victims of the latest attacks in Vienna and Kabul, among others. Excerpted below.

I want to offer my condolences to the victims and to all those grieving after the horrific shooting in Vienna that started in front of the city’s synagogue. We stand by the people of Austria, and Jewish communities around the world, who are reeling from this attack. There have been too many of these unacceptable acts of terrorism and violence in our world recently, including in France over the last few weeks, and at Kabul University in Afghanistan yesterday. Canada stands united with people everywhere in condemning these latest, terrible attacks.

These days, our world is facing all kinds of challenges. More and more, we are seeing the second wave of COVID-19 creating difficulties for several countries in Europe and elsewhere. The UK has announced a new lockdown. Belgium and France are experiencing a dramatic increase in hospitalizations. Their nurses and doctors are exhausted, and their hospitals are overwhelmed. The situation is worrisome and must be taken seriously. The second wave of COVID-19 in places like the UK, Belgium, and France is a wake-up call that Canadians cannot afford to ignore. Right now, this virus is being given the chance to spread. It’s being given the opportunity to grow. I know that’s hard to hear, but the numbers are showing us that our window to turn this around is closing fast. We have to work together—right now—to beat the second wave. It won’t be easy, but I know we can do it.

Prime Minister’s remarks announcing support for businesses and farmers

Mark your “Maple leaf accessory” and “Poppy” and “Blue suit” squares. Freeland is there, so I’m 90% sure you’ll get the “Pearls” square as well. Thank god, no brown shoes this time.

Discussing the surge in Manitoba, which is awful, we get “app” and “Second Wave” as you’d expect. And yes, there you go, “Finds new way to give Canadians money”. I spend half my time on Zoom telling my friends which federal money to apply for. An Ottawa lawyer told a friend of mine “I don’t know why anyone goes into crime. The legal money is so much easier to get.”

Is that not the most Canadian thing you’ve ever heard: create a digital poppy at https://mypoppy.ca/. And trudeau gives a message of sympathy to the family, friends, and colleagues of James Choi, who died in a live ammunition training exercise in Alberta.

Dang, that is a killer dress, and yes, mark your “Pearls” square. Freeland is appearing via video probably because she was recently exposed to Covid-19, as the app informed her. And mark your “Freeland’s papers go all the way across her desk” square. A woman after my own heart. Or work style, at least.

And now Minister Ng is up. Today is clearly Honorary Small Business Day, but when is it NOT in Ottawa? Sounds like SEO and building small business websites are going to be a growth industry for the short term at least. Woohoo! Monay for me! https://www.tradecommissioner.gc.ca/funding-financement/canexport/index.aspx Ugh, why do government sites have such ugly URLS?

Dr. Tam is reporting the stats, except Alberta because Alberta can’t get its shit together in time to report weekend results by Tuesday. Tories. She recommends a three layer mask: inner, outer, and filter. The Sister just gave me two of them, in fact, in truly Canadian buffalo check aka “The Arnprior Tuxedo” pattern. And I’ve GOT to put “The Three C’s” on the next bingo card.

Arnprior Tuxedo
The Arnprior Tuxedo

Dr. Njoo is breaking up, so mark your “Technical Difficulties” square. It’s probably just my internet, but whatever. You get a square! And YOU get a square! AND YOU GET A SQUARE!!!

Oooh, button-down shirt! An excellent Sixth Generation square, methinks. Give me a few days.

And now we are off to the questions. Mark your “Touches face” square. I thought that would have been trained out of all of us by now.

Very interesting: first question is on the death of Colton Boushie. Trudeau says he’s met with the family and understands directly from them what the grieving process is like, and how painful the delay is in getting the report out.

There you go, your “PPE” square is active now. I have literally no idea how Trudeau keeps all these figures in his head: billions transferred to provinces, sent to Canadian individuals, tax breaks, etc. It’s the most I can do to keep track of my fingers and toes.

On a more trivial note: there’s your “Drinks water” square, and at some point the sign language interpreters swapped out again, so mark that square. I wonder why they do that. Does one of them break for lunch at 12 precisely?

We got THIS FAR without a question about the US election, or even a mention in passing? 45 minutes, give or take. Gob. Smacked. Trudeau stresses Canada’s collaborative approach against the pandemic vs the “politicized” response in the US, which is as close as we are gonna get to “Shades Trump” so mark that square.

And mark your “Flu vaccine” square, which is I think on the fifth generation card.

Inneresting question about whether or not the changes in the US are irrevocable. Trudeau responds that all countries change over time, and that Canada is keeping a keen eye on the changes in the US. Mentions the victory against Aluminum tariffs. “Obviously elections matter.” He says Canada is well-positioned to work with the us “regardless of the outcomes of tonight”. Which, if you remember he thwarted the Trump Bully Handshake AND the punitive tariffs, you gotta give it to him.

I wish @CPAC_TV would focus their cameras on the chairs rather than the covid signage on the desks, because the faces are fuzzy. Minister Freeland interrupts Trudeau to give what is clearly a speech she’s been DYING to deliver, on the small business and personal economic supports for the economy. Which are basically listed in this Finance Department press release.

  • Over 3.8 million Canadians have had their jobs supported through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, with over $45 billion paid out in subsidies as of October 25, 2020.
  • Small- and medium-sized businesses are strongly represented in sectors — like food services (i.e. restaurants), hospitality, tourism, and transportation — which continue to be significantly affected by the virus and the measures taken to contain it.
  • As of late October, the Government of Canada has approved over $2 billion in rent support, through the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for small businesses. Rent assistance has helped over 138,000 small business tenants supporting 1.2 million jobs in Canada.
  • The new rent subsidy would pick up where the previous program left off, delivering direct, targeted, and accessible rent support to qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19 without the need to work through their landlords. It would provide a subsidy for eligible fixed property expenses, including rent and interest on commercial mortgages. The announced program parameters would apply until December 19, 2020 with future parameters in 2021 to be adapted and targeted as needed.

And now @JustinTrudeau is out.

And there’s your “hostile reporter tries a patently stupid gotcha question” which really should be on the 6th Gen card, where the reporter asks Dr. Tam why the instructions on masks have changed. BECAUSE SCIENCE THAT’S WHY, MORON. She strains my self-control, but I manage, after struggling mightily, to avoid an F-bomb. Dr. Tam avoids getting testy and simply answers that we now know much more about how masks work, because they were not really studied before, and reiterates that fit is very important.

“Titrate” would be a good sixth generation card square. Dr. Tam says that if we do our part we will reduce the spread, and when we reduce the viral spread we can begin to re-open. So the responsibility for the reopening is pushed to individuals and their choices, rather than to government. Because individual choices are what overwhelmingly effect the spread.

That’s a wrap! Not only did I make it through the whole thing without a single F-bomb, but I also did a proper Twitter thread this time: ah, the power of good coffee! Now, can I get an rt from @CanadianPM @cafreeland or @CPHO_Canada ?

2 thoughts on “Fury of the Covid Briefing Bingo

  1. Updated to add, after yet another coffee AND some very strong Russian Caravan tea:

    Mark off your “Ambassador present or referenced” square, your “Mask” square, “Second Wave” (did I say that already?), “Someone wears glasses”, “PPE”, “Namechecks Dr. Theresa Tam” because, again, she’s right there, o how these briefings have evolved, and “deflects responsibility to provinces”. To be QUITE thorough.

  2. Also: we were running not one but TWO experiments today.

    The first was if avoiding F-bombs and mentioning poisoning people could get an rt from one of the panelists, and the answer, alas, is that no, it cannot.

    The second was if creating this as a Twitter thread would help navigability and up the number of hits, and the fact is that it appears to have done exactly the opposite.

    So, fuck that shit.

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