The Covid Briefing Bingo of Dorian Gray

Good evening, kittens. We would have been here for you in the morning if only the government website had shown today’s briefing on Trudeau’s schedule at 4am, which it did not. We checked. We checked at 4am, we mean, not that the briefing was at 4am, although they all look like morning people to me. We wouldn’t put it past them.

We are trying, my friends, trying hard not to take it personally, and we’d like to thank the person in Hamilton who called a wrong number and woke us up in time to do the briefing, but as we did not know it was happening, we simply cursed Hamiltonians generally and went back to sleep.

But we are here, now, adequately caffeinated and with a cup of tea by our side (second person plural, singular side; we are all on the same side now, aren’t we?). Mango green tea, to be specific, because we have to be specific, because we have a word count to hit,

We are Professionals.

Yeah Bela could get it.

Today’s briefing is named after the 1918 Bela Lugosi film The Picture of Dorian Gray, a Hungarian adaptation of the original English. Oscar Wilde had only been dead 18 years at that point, which is rather mind-boggling if you think about it. That would put him at 2002 relative to right now. History is freaky, kittens. History, my friends, is a total mindfuck.

Bela played Arisztid Olt, who was Lord Henry Wotton in the original version, and a perfect character for a character actor like Bela.

Lord Henry is a man possessed of “wrong, fascinating, poisonous, delightful theories.” He is a charming talker, a famous wit, and a brilliant intellect. Given the seductive way in which he leads conversation, it is little wonder that Dorian falls under his spell so completely. Lord Henry’s theories are radical; they aim to shock and purposefully attempt to topple established, untested, or conventional notions of truth. In the end, however, they prove naïve, and Lord Henry himself fails to realize the implications of most of what he says.


There’s no full version of it on YouTube that I could find, but here are some stills:

But enough preamble! you are probably shouting. We know your type: the type who is always clicking the Skip To The Recipe button and bypassing the blogger’s wandering, pinot-tinged reminiscences of their completely unique, white suburban middle-class childhood. The type that wishes there was a Cliff’s Notes for The New Yorker.

We ARE in a mood lately, aren’t we? We shall cease abusing the faint remnants of our blog readership and get to the actual briefing. Yes, I’m stalling.

Well kittens, in case any of you are playing #BriefingBingo you can mark your “Technical difficulties” square because my computer is NOT cooperating today. Stand by.

Here are your cards, including the shiny new 7th Gen card from last Friday:

And here is our video, again from CPAC:

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 Anita Anand, the federal minister of public services and procurement, Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, and Major-General Dany Fortin, the new vice president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada and head of the country’s vaccine distribution efforts. In his remarks, the prime minister announces that Canada has signed an agreement to receive early delivery of up to 249,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine. The first shipment could be delivered as early as next week, contingent on Health Canada approval of the vaccine. Vaccination could begin within one or two days after delivery. These first doses will be distributed to 14 sites across the country. Canada’s agreement with Pfizer calls for up to 76 million total doses of its mRNA vaccine candidate.

And here is your Full Text of the Remarks (not including the questions from the press). Every now and then I think I could just transcribe it but A) then I wouldn’t be able to livetweet it B) the PMO staff eventually get it online within a calendar day or so C) I’m lazy af.

Mark your “Mask” and “Maple leaf accessory” squares, thanks to this photo from CTV, and also “Florals” for Minister Anand’s mask. And “Begins in French” too. And, of course, “Facial Hair.”

And “Vaccines” and “PPE” and “Rapid Test” squares too. Where are our sign language interpreters, CPAC?

Paper disarrangement! Alas, we have no square for that, but it was quite dramatic, as such things go. If you’re not talking about content, just delivery, that’s as dramatic as it gets in these briefings. Oh yeah, and mark your “Blue suit” square. Speaking of the superficial, which we always are around these parts.

First delivery of the Pfizer vaccine as of next week? Holy hell, that IS a dramatic announcement. And 14 vaccination sites across the nation to start with. One in each province and territory plus where? Ottawa? Victoria? Quebec City?

I cannot believe I didn’t make squares for each of the vaccine manufacturers. Eighth generation card coming up.

“While vaccines are on the horizon, remember, they cannot protect you if you get Covid-19 now.”

Minister Anand points out that the largest vaccination effort in Canadian history will begin this year rather than next. Certainly that beats my most optimistic estimate by months, but then I am not the person to turn to for optimism, now or ever. But look at it this way: 2020 is almost over. That stunning thought occurred to me today when I saw a bus with a big HAPPY NEW YEAR sign. I mean, that was instead of the Out Of Service sign, but still, it counts.

We are getting our optimism where we can, kittens. It’s 2020.

And now we get questions. Mark your “Reporter sits in the front row.” This time, wearing actual pants. And mark your “Throat malfunction” square. And your “fails to translate the answer into the other official language” square as well. And now “Touches face.” Three million doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines coming in early 2021, with First Nations and Northern populations prioritized for access.

There’s your traditional “Pushes responsibility to provinces” and another “Fails to translate”.

Trudeau is sounding rather low energy today, but then if I’d been asked basically the same question 4 times in a row I’d be Over It too. The next card has to have “Largest vaccination in Canadian history” on it. They’ve hit that multiple times today, and it’s never not going to be true until the next pandemic.

“Donc” Yay! Mark that square.

FINALLY a specific question about who is going to get the first doses, not just “is THIS group going to get it first?” But Trudeau doesn’t actually answer it other than “The most vulnerable.” The next reporter at least gets info that it’ll be distributed to provinces by percentage of the population. So, Ontario will get the majority. And they will not penalize provinces who have been slow to enact pandemic-decreasing legislation. Doug Ford heaves a double-deep sigh of relief.

Now we’ve got the “Serious teacher voice” square so mark that. And finally the moderator signals him to translate it. And you get both “Gesticulates” and “Concerned priest hand clasp” squares.

And that’s a wrap! There’s no Covid briefing on Trudeau’s schedule for tomorrow, but then there was none on today’s either. It’s 2020, anything could happen.

Dude in the back needs to step up his mask game.

Edited to add: Just stumbled across this 30-second promo for the Fall Economic Statement, which was (we will remind y’all) delivered by Deputy PM and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland one week ago, unequivocally in winter rather than fall. And I’m not sure what good a 30-second promo from the PMO will do now, but it was just released a few hours ago so here it is. 89 views. Maybe we can juice it up a bit? Because why not? We’re all playing pointless games to pass the time here in the Covidian Age. Which reminds me to get researching how to run a tabletop game on the internet without requiring everyone get as subscription to any particular paid platform. Ideas? Put ’em in the comments. This game of Illuminati ain’t gonna run itself.

Meanwhile, in the US:

Her Twitter bio reads: #Insubordinate scientist studying climate, storms & nat. hazards. #SciComm wizard. Tracking COVID-19 in the US. Cofounder of @theCovidMonitor ; frmly @healthyfla

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.