The Liminal Covid Briefing Bingo

We’re baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! Did you miss us, Possums? We missed you too. If we could, we’d buy each of you a copy of Iyanla Vanzant’s book In The Meantime, because that’s very much where we are: after an election, but before Parliament gets back to work.

Post-CERB, pre-UBI.

Jokers to the left of us, murderclowns to the right. Here you are, stuck in the liminal space with me.

Justin Trudeau is late, as usual.

Hadrien and Justin Trudeau en route to work

We’ve got a full house down on Wellington Street, so mark your “Reporter sits in the front row” square. Either the political reportage class of Canada is deathly bored after an election OR they suspect big news. We’re back at the Soon-To-Be-Renamed-If-I’m-Any-Guesser Sir John A. MacDonald building, so I guess even the nomenclature is liminal today.

I was supposed to be finishing my degree as of September, but thanks to paperwork that got pushed to January, so this entire Fall season is liminal for me. As is the Covidian Age, for us all, Possums. For all of us.
Let’s hope it’s a soft landing, Possums.

Here’s our video, Possums. As usual, from CPAC, with a walloping 427 people watching. The reporters got quite the lecture from some young guy in jeans, to which they paid more attention than reporters pay most people, so it must have been important, but the sound was off. C’mon, CPAC, we want our inside scoop!

And our bingo cards are here:

While we’re waiting (time as well as space is liminal these days) you should peruse this interesting article from my beloved Washington Monthly, where I once applied for an internship and then lectured them when I found out it was unpaid. The article calls Trudeau the most successful progressive leader in the world.

A win is a win, and as far as winning goes, Trudeau has done quite a bit of it. His third electoral victory almost assures that he’ll be the longest-tenured progressive leader in the wealthy world. Out of all the OECD countries with left-leaning heads of state, only Sweden’s Stefan Löfven has been in office longer, and, barring a sudden massive scandal, Trudeau will soon overtake him (Löfven is retiring in November). The Canadian prime minister has stayed in power during an era in which much of the world has moved to the right—in many cases, such as the United States under Donald Trump, far to the right. That fact alone makes him one of the most successful progressive leaders on the planet.

Power, of course, is only as good as what you do with it.

Is Justin Trudeau even progressive? Not to this stone cold pinko, he’s a Neoliberal to the core, but at least he’s not REgressive like virtually every other career politician on the planet. The article says that roughly half of all refugees in the world last year were resettled to Canada, which is not a thing you will read in the Canadian press, ever.

And we’re off! Mark your “Freeland” square and also “Begins in French” in which I’m so rusty it might as well be Romanian. I think we also have a “Pearls” square, so mark that. And Trudeau, of course, gives you the “blue suit” square, and Freeland now gives you the “Vaccine” square with extreme exasperation. Interesting that the principal let the vice-principal open this session. Freeland also gives you the “touches face” square, pulling hair off her face.

Mandatory Covid regulations: public servants in “the core” must be fully vaccinated by the 29th of October. And if you refuse to disclose vaccine status, you’ll be on leave WITHOUT PAY. Freeland is ice-cold and I’m loving it. And that also applies to the military. Is this just a cunning way of getting rid of the Boogs and Proud Boys? Smarrrt!

Oh, mark your “I make a coffee and forget it in the kitchen” square.

And now we’re over to the PM. I can see by his left hand that the announcement I thought was coming today is NOT coming, at least today. Do I have a square for “stutter?” I need one.

If you’re 12 or older and you want to fly or take the train, you’ll have to be fully vaccinated, as will staff.

Justin Trudeau

Yeah, but you won’t apply that to light rail, willya? I’m 90% sure I got the bug from mass transit, and disabling transit cards for the unvaccinated seems like an easy fix. At least make them use cash, it’s so inconvenient!

Going to make it a criminal offence to harass or threaten healthcare workers, FINALLY! Isn’t it already a crime to harass people or threaten them?

Oooh, talking about last week, which he calls a mistake, and he vows to visit the Kamloops people in the coming weeks.

And now questions.

Remember, son, if they ask who ate the cookies, you give them a stern “No comment.”

Ashley Burke asks about the travel, of course, and Trudeau says “this is an important day for Canadians to reflect” and he apologizes for not attending the event that he was invited to. Says he will be attending an event in the near future.

Mercedes Stephenson asks about YET ANOTHER senior military figure being removed from his position for allegations of sexual misconduct. Can we bring back eunuchs? Trudeau again flaunts Louise Arbour, but says there’s so much more work to do before people understand that survivors need to be at the centre of everything we do. The answer in French is actually better than in English.

Oh right, I have coffee in the kitchen.

And Trudeau hands it over to Freeland to continue on this. She thanks Stephenson for her “dogged” pursuit of the story; old editors never die, they just go into politics. Freeland says “there is a systemic problem with the treatment of women, the treatment of sexual harassment in the armed forces. That needs to change, and it will. It’s not fair to everyone, but especially to the Canadian women in uniform. They should not have to work in a place where they face this kind of harassment. “Does this qualify as “shout out to the Armed Forces?” Well, she thanks them for their work in LTC homes, so mark it.

And Freeland gives you the “drinks water” square. Trudeau doesn’t sound like he’s just back from a vacation; he sounds like he’s spent the last four days being beaten with sticks.

Freeland gives you the party line. “The vast majority of Canadians are doing the right thing” and also reviews what the government is doing. 89% of Canadians have had at least one shot. “This is about the majority doing the right thing, and it is about the government taking action on behalf of the majority so that a minority of people cannot sabotage the Canadian economy.” Trudeau echos this in English and then French. And gives us the “donc” square.

But seriously, is the military vaccine mandate just a really passive-aggressive way of getting rid of the chuds and Proud Boys and QTips?


“Vaccine mandates work” says Freeland. And uses “inchoate” and “amorphous” which are words that the people who are vaccine hesitant will not understand.

Mark your “Sign language interpreters get swapped out” square and also your “neglects to translate the answer in to the other official language” so I give up and go get my coffee at long last from the kitchen.

There are a number of questions about exemptions to the vaccine mandates, and it’s GREAT to see the Canadian media getting over last Thursday at long last. Trudeau says that exemptions will be rare and onerous to obtain, and simply having the belief that vaccines are bad won’t be enough to get you exempted.

Meanwhile, in Ontario…

Mark your “Pushes responsibility to provinces” on proofs of vaccinations. Very clever. Make it their problem to solve. Trudeau has used the word “onerous” twice now, and Freeland once, all in reference to people who refuse to get vaccinated and how their lives are gonna go from that point onward.

Good question about whether all the MPs in the HoC need to be fully vaccinated, and political staffers as well, rather than just public servants. Trudeau gives you a “do the right thing” talk, and calls out the Conservatives about resistance, and says it’s Erin O’Toole’s problem to solve: MPs putting fellow colleagues at risk, unable to get on planes, etc.

Over to Freeland now, who reiterates that the vast majority of Canadians get why vaccination is a good idea, and she believes that they have given the government a mandate to just get it done. Canada’s tired of vaccine stubbornness.

This has been a national trauma, and a very, very expensive national trauma.

Chrystia Freeland

And mark your “Freeland’s papers go all the way across her desk” square.

Wait, do I have a square for “pearls?” I think I do. Mark that puppy! Oh yeah, we already did. Tolja I needed my coffee!

There you go, “Got Canadians’ backs” we knew it would happen. Where’s “Building Back Better?” That’s a wrap. Oooh, new face mask, no maple leaf this time. A radical departure!

And you can go ahead and mark “flashes wedding ring” and “the big story raincoaster thought was happening today didn’t happen,” which, in all honesty, you could mark more days than not. See you next time, Possums!

Oh, speaking of liminal spaces…

And to close out, please enjoy this lovely cello cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” by Ireland’s Patrick Dexter, who began these outdoor cello concerts as a way to cheer people up during the Covid lockdowns, and whom I came to via his collab with the immortal Gurdeep Pandher.

One thought on “The Liminal Covid Briefing Bingo

  1. Dude is stone-cold trolling me now, with the left hand going all Napoleon.

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