The Beast and the Covid Briefing Bingo

I thought it was better this way than The Covid Briefing Bingo and the Magic Sword: YMMV

So, here we are again, a scant 25.5 hours after the last briefing.

Panta Rhei

Heraclitus of Ephesus

Today’s briefing is named after the rare Paul Naschy movie that I have yet to see, The Beast and the Magic Sword. And my day began at 6am, when I got a calendar reminder for a book launch occurring at the same time as the briefing, so that’s great. Hopefully I can watch the Zoom later.

And then continued, after a short, fitful doze, with a phonecall from some rando in Bangladesh. I don’t know anyone in Bangladesh, so I’m choosing to believe this was a call from the office of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, concerned lest I sleep through another Covid briefing. They’re big Covid Briefing Bingo fans in Bangladesh, you know. So I gave up and got up.

And in universe-upending news, I can’t find the CPAC livestream, so today we’re going with the CBC video instead. Practicing my French will have to wait. Good thing the coffee’s ready; this is way too much disruption to handle in one morning.

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

And here’s our video, which starts late, as usual.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and cabinet ministers give an update on Canada’s PPE, testing and vaccines. Chief Public Health Officer of Dr. Theresa Tam and Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo will be in attendance. To read more:

Oh, and soooper, I have internet problems, so this should go well. Mercury is OUT of retrograde, isn’t it? Even in Nepean?

Okay, we’ve got “rapid tests” and “Pushes responsibility to provinces” and “Grey suit” and “Poppy” so far. I’ll pop back in and do a summary of the contents later, when my internet stops fucking with me. Okay, I’m back and doing that now. Trudeau begins the briefing by stressing that reducing the spread of the pandemic is up to each of us. The federal government can and will do only so much, but it won’t interfere with what individual provinces are doing, although he HEAVILY IMPLIES you should be way more cautious than certain provinces are being. On which note, there’s this rather horrifying update:

GM is an American company, as is Pfizer, so that does NOT give you “Names specific Canadian company”. No squares for you!

And the new money for veterans is “Finds a new way to give Canadians money” as well as “Foreshadows an announcement to be made later”. And a reminder that this year’s Remembrance Day ceremonies will be online, if they happen at all. I’ll never forget being in the Cambie pub and watching the parade go by. Everyone in that dive, including the people who were well past the point of standing by that time in the morning, stood up and raised their beers to the soldiers passing by.

And now it’s already “later” because here we are at the announcement by Minister MacAulay. Everybody theoretically supports veterans, but now it’s time for shit to get real. Here are some details from the Veteran’s site.

Non-profit and charitable Veterans organizations are experiencing a critical loss of charitable and fundraising revenues as a direct result of COVID-19, and are at risk of not being able to maintain their operations.

Veterans organizations play a critical role in the lives and well-being of Veterans and their families, as well as the communities in which they are located. They support homeless and disabled Veterans and play a crucial role in helping the Department fulfill its mandate. The Veterans Organizations Emergency Support Fund provides grants to non-profit and registered charitable organizations that support Veterans and their families. The grants will help organizations with operational costs and financial shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. If your organization is facing significant financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for funding.

Veterans Organizations Emergency Fund

And there’s your “PPE” square. Like eight times, along with “Vaccine”. And “Rapid test” which we had earlier as well. The next briefing card is going to be dry af, because it will be all “Logistics” and “Shovel-ready” and suchlike.

We also have “Audio issues” throughout the video. And now we’re on to Dr. Tam and the statistics, average daily case count is over 3,000. Soooooooper. People, if you really can’t live without spending time with other people, maybe try harder to keep them alive!

That positive rate is half what it was last week Nope I misread. It’s up, and twice the average since the start of the pandemic.

There’s your “Three C’s” square. “Nobody knows layering like Canadians in Winter,” says Dr. Tam and this is just objectively true. And now mark your “My aunt calls during the briefing” square.

Reading between the lines (and my reading comprehension is iffy even ON the lines themselves, but hey-ho, everybody’s a pundit these days; Thanks, Twitter!) it seems like the federal government is saying,

“Look, we’ve done all we can do for you people without hurting our chances in the next election. Your premiers aren’t going to save, you, CLEARLY. They think the economy is better off with more dead Canadians. Some of them appear to be absolutely stone-cold batshit insane, in fact, so this is on you. Stay home. Mask up. For the love of god, stop killing off people just so you don’t have to eat a fucking third-rate cheeseburger by yourself.”

I may be paraphrasing a bit.

Oh right, here’s what he actually said:

With rising cases of COVID-19 here at home, there’s added pressure on all orders of government to keep people safe and to protect jobs.

But I would hope that no leader in our country is easing public health vigilance because they feel pressure not to shut down businesses or slow down our economy.

I understand that worry, but let me tell you: that’s how we end up with businesses going out of business and the economy damaged even more.

Beating COVID is the only way to protect our economy.

Prime Minister’s remarks on the COVID-19 situation and support for Veterans

And all of these references to Remembrance Day count as “Shout-out to non-religious holiday” although if you’re in a military family you’re allowed to tick off the “Religious holiday” square too. Because OBVIOUS REASONS that’s why.

Woohoo, Dr. Njoo gives us “Button Down Oxford” so mark that one off. I’m unreasonably excited for this, because I’ve been locked down with The Roommate and his endless television reruns for the past eight thousand months, and am starved for entertainment.

Good questions from @LeDevoir about why, if we can release people from immigration detention centres during the pandemic, why can’t we do it all the time. And it gets a “Covid makes things hard, we’re focused on the pandemic” response. Which I’m definitely going to use the next time the Roommate asks why I haven’t washed the dishes.

This whole briefing is one big “Pushes responsibility to provinces” really. It’s like Trudeau is passive-aggressively using the briefing to avoid having a Hard Conversation with his buddy Doug Ford.

And there we have “Sign language interpreter is swapped out”. The next bingo card should have “Challenges” on it, for sure. Maybe “Do the right thing” too.

And there you go, “Drinks water” square. Trudeau reassures the reporter and the citizens that invoking the Emergency Act is not a family tradition. Well, that’s a relief. I already had “Stock up for emergency lockdown” in my calendar for 2050; I wonder which Trudeau will be Hereditary Prime Minister then.

There’s “From the very beginning” and “Avoids mentioning Trump” when asked if he had any “unfinished business with the current President”. Which we all know he has plenty. And “Mentions Biden by name” which looks like it’ll be a regular in the briefing.

Meanwhile, in the US, the fascists just fucking went ahead and did it:

And Minister Anand “Mentions reporter by name” so mark that square. And yes, mark “Someone appears via video”.

And there’s your “Shades Harper” square. Love that one.

The Ratanzi case is god’s gift to the Tories, but it caught them so much by surprise that they haven’t had the chance to take advantage of it. Yet. They’ve put all their hopes in the “Scandal” basket rather than the “Issues” basket.

And now we have the “Gesticulates” square in spades. And the reporter tries to nail Trudeau down to comment on Alberta and Ontario, which he completely ignores in favour of national generalizations.

“From the very beginning” is now active. But come on, there needs to be a national mental health solution. Not “oh, there are lots of charities, try them”. And Trudeau is out, and yes, “Camera follows Trudeau out even though someone else is speaking.”

Dr. Tam gets a question which relates to my interests directly: what does science tell us about transmission aboard airliners. She says they have not received a report of transmission aboard an airliner at this point, which is better than I thought.

On a less serious note, Dr. Tam gives you your “Florals” square for her top. It’s hard to see behind the sign, but it’s definitely a floral print. On a more serious note, Dr. Tam and Minister Ananad are pretty excellent at explaining the challenges to dealing with the pandemic from a logistical and scientific perspective.

And thats’s a wrap. I’ll be back later to review the video and add what I missed, so check back in a couple of hours.

Meanwhile, in the US.

One thought on “The Beast and the Covid Briefing Bingo

  1. Oh, and Doug Ford caved. He’s walking back his strategy of colour coding, thanking Trudeau for “all his support”, and saying that different cities or regions are at liberty to impose additional restrictions as appropriate for the safety of Canadians. Doug Ford has enough brains to realize Justin Trudeau has more brains. Good call, Doug Ford.

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