The Spanky Covid Briefing Bingo

Yes, it’s vulgar, our nomenclative choice today, but this is Populism! What do you expect? It’s all Buck A Beer and Aspirational Asses and Trendy Body Modifications and the like. Besides, with this particularly well-chosen camera angle from the Liberal Convention, how could we NOT use it? Yoga works. Never let it be said that the Liberal Party of Canada does not know how to give The People what they want.

Justin Trudeau's gratuitous ass shot. Let it not be said the LPC doesn't know how to give the people what they really want.
You can’t tell me that shot is about the delegates.

Optics, people. It’s a Whole Thing.

Anyhoodle, now that we’ve introduced our arbitrary framing device, let us get to the actual briefing and see if it’s Doug Ford who gets spanked today.

Here’s our video, with only 287 watching at the start, but 4,000 more an hour later. We here at raincoaster HQ take full credit, of course.

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 Dominic LeBlanc (minister of intergovernmental affairs), Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, and Dr. Howard Njoo, deputy chief public health officer.

And your cards:

“Someone appears via video” is obviously active; that’s our new default. I still don’t know what those QR codes are, the ones they tape to the back of every reporter’s chair. BECAUSE I DELETED MY QR CODE READER SEVEN YEARS AGO LIKE ALL SANE PEOPLE. I see a reporter wearing my least favourite combo of grey suit and brown shoes. Grey. I just give. up.

Head’s up, stop trying to reinstall a QR code reader on your phone, the company that produced it got bought by Microsoft five years ago and shut down. Anyhoodle, the Trudeau and Co Power Hour is about to begin! But first, a Public Serivice Announcement from Chloe:

And we’re right into it. Mark your Blue Suit, Mask, Maple Leaf Accessory, and Begins in English squares. Oh, and Facial Hair too. Somebody’s stern and low energy today. Methinks Concerned Teacher has adrenal fatigue and is now “We’ve Talked About This A Hundred Times” Disappointed Dad.

More squares: vaccine, Pfizer, Moderna, “shades provinces” and “Feels parents’ pain” as well for that remark on schooling. “Got your back” twice, “every step of the way” once, and “from the very beginning” three times. Not even kidding.

Air Canada bailout is the topic of the day, interesting that it restricts executive pay. Finally. A blow against late stage capitalism from an actual NeoLiberal. It delights this old anarchist to see it.

“Over the coming month, while fasting during the daytime, many Muslim Canadians will continue to be on the front lines of our fight against COVID-19. During these exceptional times, I invite all Canadians to recognize the many contributions Muslim communities have made to our country since the pandemic began, as they have for many generations.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Vaisakhi plus Ramadan give you the “shout out to religious holiday” square from our early card, was it #2?

And now we’re over to Dr. Tam, who just got vaccinated. I have vaccine envy. #ThanksDougFord There’s a 29% increase in Covid patients in hospitals this week relative to last week. Was Easter dinner worth it, people?

You know what? I’m feeling generous today, so mark your “somebody gets vaccinated on camera” square because Dr. Tam got hers. Hey, I can be beneficent.

Dr. Njoo is up now. Mark your “Is not wearing glasses” square.

Swear to god I had intended to get the statistical report and paste it in here prior to publishing the post, but I was making coffee. #Priorities!

There are so many similarities between the structure of Dr. Tam’s speech and Trudeau’s recent speeches that either her writer is cribbing from his or they’re using the same writer these days.

There’s your “Drinks water” square. Lina Dibb is up first, as per usual, and gives you your “Johnson & Johnson” square. And Trudeau stops her from her followup in order to translate into English. And goes on to remind everyone that we have contracts with a lot of different makers and will have 44 million vaccine doses by the end of June.

She’s not wrong.

Ryan Tumulty up next. “Second wave” square and “Third wave” too. He asks whether there’s anything in the vaccine rollout that Trudeau thinks the government did wrong. Good solid question. Trudeau gives him Concerned Teacher Voice and says no, they’ve done a good job on vaccine rollout “and I think it’s important to remember that vaccination alone doesn’t necessarily lead to an ability to ease restrictions.” He gives the example of the UK which, come on, is led by a guy named BoJo. And it shows.

Mark your “Sign language interpreters swapped out” square. And now my video is frozen, so that gives you the “Technical difficulties” square, if only because my landlord is too cheap for anything but an Internet Featherweight connection.

I lost a big chunk of the briefing thanks to frozen internet, so I’ll have to come back and fill it in later. Catching up now and he’s talking about the closing of Laurentian, which is a BIG FUCKING DEAL. And that’s “Pushes responsibility to provinces” again, specifically and literally. He says he’s going to ask Doug Ford about protecting bilingualism and education and can we all agree that neither of these things matter to him?

Nice question about UBI and “you seem less enthusiastic about this yourself” which is pointed. Trudeau passes the buck to Freeland’s upcoming budget and gives you “building back better” again. Twice.

Trudeau is speaking at about 600wpm listing all the points he’s no doubt going to hit on the election trail. He’s already memorized the talking points. This is not a guy who typically left writing his papers till the night before. “Got your backs” and “wahtever it takes as long as it takes” and “comes roaring back”.

“Investing in people” that’s going to be a major theme of whenever this election actually happens. Reporter asks if he’ll commit to not calling an election till The Pandemic Safe Elections Act legislation on safe elections during a pandemic is passed. Trudeau says parties shouldn’t play political games, while playing political games very smoothly.

Ugh. Mark my least-favourite square, “Wears brown shoes with blue or grey suit”. Around here our least favourite kind of trendy overclass subgroup is the Metrosexual Neoliberal.

Marieke Walsh asks a variation on That Same Vaccine Supply Question, so mark that square. LeBlanc responds soothingly that this is a blip, and well within normal fluctuations. Walsh’s followup says that doesn’t help people waiting for vaccinations now. Oh, and mark your “fails to translate the answer into the other official language.”

Surprising, however, NO. Not surprising at all.

There’s “Donc” so mark that square. I didn’t even know Montreal HAD a Grand Prix. It’s a charming remnant of 70’s culture in my opinion. Electric cars I’d watch. Horses I’d watch. Internal combustion is so 20th Century!

Ha! EXCELLENT question about Dr. Tam’s vaccine, which she got, and how she qualified. She’s happy to explain. Went online, filled in registration, got her notification, lined up, and got Pfizer.

Question about vaccine hesitancy and how they’re approaching it. LeBlanc says they’ve talked with provinces about it many times, how to work together to combat vaccine hesitancy and direction Canadians to reliable information from health authorities.

Outstanding question about why the advice around AstraZenica isn’t gender-specific when the symptoms are gender-specific. Dr. Tam replies that it’s very hard to get a handle on brand new, emerging things with a small number of cases.

And that’s it for this conference. I’ll jump back in later to fill in the blanks from when my internet froze. See you in an hour or so, possums.

Meanwhile, you can try to guess the Completely Arbitrary Nomenclature Device which we’ve been using for the last little while. So far we have had:

  1. Spanky (today)
  2. Robin
  3. Snooky
  4. Muddy
  5. Grumpy
  6. Sparky
  7. Heavy Metal
  8. Happy

Guesses, if any, in the comments section, for your chance to win fabulous (literally) virtual prizes!

Meanwhile in the Still At Least Nominally United States:



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