The Happy Covid Briefing Bingo

I’m happy because I’ve got a fresh bag of espresso and enough money to get myself a moka pot!

We’re back, possums! And, after skipping Tuesday’s briefing entirely in favour of a virtual meeting with Biden (Trudeau) and dialing in to liveblog the Corey Hurren sentencing hearing (your humble blogger), very happy to be back. Well, I am anyway. No idea how Trudeau feels except that his palpable glee every time he mentions working with Biden instead of “He Who Must Not Be Named” makes me think he’d actively pay to spend eight hours a day in meetings with Biden. Yes, Doug Ford, you have been well and truly Thrown Over For Another Man. #RIPBromance

Back at our panel-style Covid briefings, back at Room 200 of the John A. MacDonald Building, which I at least find amusing because the use of the middle initial indicates that the federal government is worried you might mistake this building for another, named after some other John MacDonald. Perhaps a florist, or a goat farmer, or orthodontist. All honourable professions, to be sure. Better safe than sorry, that’s our federal government.

Which is now, by my count, seven minutes late to its Covid briefing in the building named after the first prime minister. He used to get through a bottle of sherry a day, plus assorted spirits and other potions. Like, a bottle of 14% abv sherry was his baseline. How did he keep his girlish figure, that’s what I want to know. A diet where you can put away a bottle of sherry a day and stay slim: that would make MANY people happy.

Anyhoodle, here is our video and our bingo cards, with 423 watching:

On Parliament Hill, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discusses the federal government’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic. He is joined by federal ministers Patty Hajdu (health), Anita Anand (public services and procurement), and Dominic LeBlanc (intergovernmental affairs), as well as Major-General Dany Fortin (vice president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada), Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, and Dr. Howard Njoo, deputy chief public health officer. They discuss Health Canada’s authorization of the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

And your cards:

We are at T Plus Three Minutes for the Covid19 BriefingBingo so stand by for action. Will be live-tweeted here and live blogged at

“Shades Trump without naming him” and “Biden” squares active and, my dude, it’s not “KamLOOPS” it’s KAMloops. Your West Coast Card is endangered. Between this and not drinking coffee, you are On Notice.

Squares: Technical difficulties, starts more than ten minutes late, blue suit, and “Ramping up” like four times already. Is that a new tie? New Tie needs to be a square. Oh right, I was supposed to make you a new card. Oh well, I said “By Monday” and didn’t specify which Monday, eh? I really HAVE become assimilated to Ottawa.

“Rapid testing” and “AstraZenica” and “Vaccines” and “Specific Canadian named” and “Now more than ever” too. What square did I call the anti-racism one? Mark the hell out of it for the discussion of the racist attacks on people throughout the country but particularly in Edmonton. which recently hosted an actual Pitchforks and Tiki Torches racist anti-masker march where journalists were threatened.

I wonder what happened to the desk signs? They were at least prettier than the back of the mic stands.

Only Your Premier Knows. “Pushes responsibility to provinces” square hella active.

Dr Tam points out Ontario, BC, and Alberta have troubling increases although cases overall are down, so mark that, best, square. Dr. Tam is not fucking around with data. Not only does she deliver the latest figures, but she’s got a background which has the info URL for covid info and the toll free phone number too.

I have a square for “Dr Njoo isn’t wearing glasses” don’t I? From like the 4th Gen Bingo card? Mark it.

Okay, squares: Touches hair, drinks water. I think this is Lina Dibb with the first question on the phone. It’s a rapid test question and Leblanc and Trudeau both say they are working really well with the provinces. Of course, the provinces aren’t using them particularly effectively and have been known to just let them sit there, so mark “pushes responsibility to provinces”.

Yay, moderator, you tell him! “Dude, we’ve got TWO languages. Use them!” I may be paraphrasing.

Dr Tam’s breaking up. I think someone in her department is playing Cyberpunk or something. Mark “Technical difficulties” and “Sign language reporters swapped out”.

“Speed it up” says the PM to Dr. Njoo. I may be paraphrasing.

Now Ryan Tumelty with the NaPo re: Astrazenica vaccine shipments coming from the US. Asks if he asked for assurance Biden wouldn’t interfere with the shipments UNLIKE SOME PRESIDENTS. Yes, mark your “Shades Trump without naming him” square. We might as well retire the “Shades the US” square because at this point Biden could punch the Queen and Trudeau would still stan him out of pure relief not to be dealing with Emperor Cheetolini.

And Minister Anand responds that yes, we have assurances we WILL get the shipments from the US and are also negotiating directly with India. Followup re: returning to normal. Is getting all the seniors vaccinated enough to get back to normal? Trudeau gives his regular “god, I wish we could go back to normal ASAP but we are relying on the experts.”

Which is a No.

Le Devoir on the phone now, with a Q about vaccine passports in Quebec. Again, Trudeau says “follow what the experts say” and god, I need a square for “pushes responsibility to experts” but that’s just implied in the word “Canadian” is it not? Anyway, he bunts.

“Bunts” is my new favourite word. And Trudeau’s favourite action.

Followup is about the efficacy of the AZ vaccine against variants of Covid-19. Trudeau again responds that we’ll listen to experts and Dr Njoo picks up the answer: that they’re tracking it and comparing.

Rideau Cottage is very pretty, and I love good outerwear, but these panel briefings are WAY more informative.

Question from in the room about The Two Michaels and the role of the US. Trudeau bunts yet again with a statement that he can’t discuss ongoing negotiations. Mark your “Two Michaels” square.

New question in the room about the head of the armed forces stepping down for the SECOND TIME IN 2 MONTHS and Trudeau gets his Serious face on and reiterates that everyone deserves a safe space to work and live. Mark your “concerned priest hand clasp” square. Very mild “Gesticulates” square. Mark it very gently, with an expression of concern.

Mercedes Stevenson at Global News: “My inbox is full of emails from women in the Armed Forces” who don’t feel safe. “What do you say to these women? They feel this is systemic and your gov is not taking action”. She sounds angry, as we all should be.

Trudeau responds that the head’s stepping down proves they’re taking it seriously. “From the very beginning” square. “Move forward” too. He says we’ve made great strides as a country but there’s an awful lot more to do.

Someone buy this moderator a beer. She’s not letting him off with a single language, but making him translate. I’d hate to have to do that, myself, even if I were fully bilingual, but Trudeau’s very good at it, and it IS his job.

Followup: the gov was made aware of the allegations three years ago “no further inquiries made by the defence minister. He apparently didn’t tell you. Isn’t there a responsibility in your government to take action?”

Trudeau responds that there are processes put in place that are rigorous and he has faith in the processes and isn’t that the most Canadian response ever? And mark the hell out of the “Passive voice” square. The “Passive voice” square should be marked.

Radio canada with a q about what happens when people refuse the AstraZenica vaccine. Trudeau says the government will provide safe vaccines approved by our health agency.

Tom Parry asking why he sat out the vote on Genocide and so did his whole government: “why are you ready to accept that Canada is committing genocide, but not China?” The answer, possums, is that Canada isn’t holding the Two Michaels and a potential billion-person market prisoner, and Tom Parry knows it quite well. Trudeau says “a government has a responsibility that goes beyond a legislative assembly…and move forward with actions that are going to put an end to human rights violations.”

This is the patented Trudeau “you must trust we are doing the right thing behind the scenes” response. Ah, Neoliberalism, you’re adorable. You’re so cute and funny, if only inadvertently.

Mark your “Uyghurs” square. And I love this moderator, because she hit him yet again with “and in French now” and he gives an abashed smile and jumps into it.

Mark your “mask” square “Maple leaf accessory” and “Camera follows Trudeau out of the room” squares.

Mariekke Walsh asks if we’re going to hit that September deadline. Minister Anand says she’s doing all she can to meet that, stressing access to APPROVED vaccines as soon as possible. Patty Hajdu says that more vaccines in greater volume arriving earlier than expected is a very good sign, but “there can be bumps in the road” but overall she’s optimistic.

Followup on cost of the vaccine. $1 billion was the estimate in January, Walsh asks how much the government has spent in total on vaccines. Anand responds they’ll have to check their #s before answering to give an accurate figure. Hajdu says “the cost of NOT vaccinating” is higher, which, yes.

New Q about delivery schedule. How many extra doses will we be getting? Anand says 6 million of Pfizer and Moderna in Q1. And AZ makes it 6.5. The delivery schedule of Astrazenica is still being finalized. Oh lord, I DID say to mark your “Pfizer” and “Moderna” squares, yes?

Q about the mandatory hotel stays and if changes have been made to the program? Hajdu says they’ve increased capacity, the majority of travelers are complying.COME ON, the fine for skipping the hotel is half the cost of compliance.

Seriously: Make it three times as expensive to skip the three day hotel stay as to do the hotel stay. THAT will ensure 100% compliance. This isn’t hard.

CP has a q about should we be concerned we don’t have enough people to give the vaccinations? Hajdu salutes the people who’ve been doing the injections so far and says the gov is looking at how to continue and accelerate supports.

And Dr Tam is back, having apparently kicked whoever was eating her bandwidth offline.

And we’re all done for today. Gimme half an hour to add some tweets and embellish the framing device.

Which is actually a riddle, you’ll see; can you guess it? That’s what the comments section is for.


Meanwhile, in the US:

And, out-doing even this very blog in “applying inappropriate cultural lenses to politics” we have liberal Twitter:

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