Covid Briefing Bingo, Welcome to 2022 Edition

Well Possums, here we are again. What will we do for the two year anniversary of the Covid Briefing Bingo in May? I don’t know about you, but I’m already picking out a dress for the party.

Viktor and Rolf GET me

Let’s all sing the Covid Song!

I believe I can see the future
‘Cause I repeat the same routine
I think I used to have a purpose
Then again, that might have been a dream
I think I used to have a voice
Now I never make a sound
And I just do what I’ve been told
I really don’t want them to come around, oh no
Every day is exactly the same
Every day is exactly the same
There is no love here and there is no pain
Every day is exactly the same
I can feel their eyes are watching
In case I lose myself again
Sometimes I think I’m happy here
Sometimes, yet I still pretend
I can’t remember how this got started
But I can tell you exactly how it will end
Every day is exactly the same
Every day is exactly the same
There is no love here and there is no pain
Every day is exactly the same
I’m writing on a little piece of paper
I’m hoping someday I might find
Well I’ll hide it behind something
They wont look behind
I am still inside here
A little bit comes bleeding through
I wish this could’ve been any other way
But I just don’t know, I don’t know
What else I can do
Every day is exactly the same
Every day is exactly the same
There is no love here and there is no pain
Every day is exactly the same
Every day is exactly the same
Every day is exactly the same
There is no love here and there is no pain
Every day is exactly the same

In any case, by now you know how these work. Here’s our video from Cpac with 184 watching because NOBODY thinks Justin Trudeau will be on time, even if it’s just a videocast from his own house.

On Parliament Hill, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discusses the federal government’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the spread of the Omicron variant. He is joined by federal ministers Chrystia Freeland (finance) and Jean-Yves Duclos (health), as well as Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, and Dr. Howard Njoo, deputy chief public health officer.

The intimacy of those home-based briefings is kind of ironic; it’s like being in a Zoom meeting with your boss’s boss’s boss’s boss, with him making jokey references to his youngest kid and trying to really connect, you know?

Nonetheless, that IS a substantial part of the man’s job, as others have pointed out.

It’s a whole thread, people!

Today we’re back at the office. No shirtsleeves here, folks! Here are our bingo cards. Do you think we should make new ones? We’re at ten now!

Mark these squares right off the top: Grey suit, Begins in French, “From the very beginning”, “We have your backs”, and Covid Fatigue. Mark that last one in spades. Oh, and Clean Shaven. I always forget that one.

Mark your Vaccine square and do we have a Doing The Right Thing square? A Hunker Down square? Maybe I do need to make a new card. Mark your “Who we are” square.

Everyone looks a bit green the day after their booster!

Trudeau got his booster yesterday, and he looks it too. Not at his best this morning, dragging a bit. And I mean, no man at the peak of his powers would have chosen that tie. He’s being very soothing towards the unvaxed, skimming over the actual reasons they may not be vaccinated and advising them that they have vaccines for them.

Mark “rapid tests” square. They’re going to send 4x as many rapid tests in January as in December. Boy, Doug Ford is gonna be rich from selling them to his buddy Gavin Weston!

There’s your Gesticulates square, when he’s speaking French, because you literally cannot speak French without gesticulating. It’s against the law. And do we have a “needs a haircut” square? It’s been so long I don’t remember. Mark Got Your Back again.

He’s fidgeting, so mark that, and I’ll also give you the Flashes Wedding Ring Square. Oh, and speaking of someone dragging slightly today, mark your I Make Coffee And Forget It In The Kitchen.

Is this going to be declared a national day of mourning for air crashes? Seems a random thing to give such a high profile to, but then I had my heart surgically removed years ago.

Now we’re over to Jean-Yves Duclos who gives us a talk on our position vis-a-vis the Omicron variant (which sounds much nicer in French) and says that while it sucks to be still in a pandemic, we’re in a much better position than we were in 2020 thanks to vaccines.

Mark your Reiterates the Border Will Remain Closed and also Finds New Way To Give Canadians Money. Two of my faves!

These are challenging times, but they will not last forever. Let’s continue to exercise caution.

Jean-Yves Duclos

Now over to Chrystia Freeland, so mark your Freeland square and Someone Appears by Video. She’s listing off all the tools we have to deal with this situation, and one notes she omits UBI…

OH RIGHT BECAUSE WE DON’T HAVE UBI YET!

Mark your Pearls square. And imagine her clutching them when yet ANOTHER person in government suggests UBI as a good thing for the economy as well as the People.

Ahem! Where was I?

There’s your new Lockdown Benefit for workers who’ve lost 50% or more of their income; it gives them up to $300 a week. And employers get supports of up to 75% of their losses. In case you thought this wasn’t still Neoliberalism: workers get $300 a week, employers get 75% of their losses covered.

Freeland’s dress fits her about as well as the Queen’s Christmas Message dress fit her, and we all know the Queen has lost a ton of weight recently. Is Freeland okay?

Freeland, also, is giving us a Who We Are speech, saying we’ve recovered all the jobs lost in the pandemic, and we have the second-lowest Covid death rate in the G7. She’s being very Prime Ministerial and less colloquial than usual. Maybe Trudeau IS thinking of sitting out the next election. Her speech on these issues is frankly better than his (but then she’s a writer; he’s a teacher).

Now to the questions. Mark your “mask” square. And the first reporter, having been informed there will be no follow-up questions, packs three questions into one. Mark your “fiddles with pen” square. And Duclos gives you “fails to translate into the other official language” square. Trudeau does do his own translation (does that save taxpayers a salary?).

Mark your “Sign language interpreters swapped out” and Touches Face squares (told you he wasn’t feeling 100%) and Squares Up Papers too, which is a sign of stress generally.

Ah, there’s Dr Tam, mark her square. And she gives you Pushes Responsibility to Provinces, and the Prime Minister jumps in to handle the French part, again saving us that translator’s salary. Hey, if politics doesn’t work out for him, he could do a lateral move into translation for a living. $49,000 a year!

This next reporter seems to think that Trudeau should have a time machine that he can use to go back in time and build hospital capacity. Mark your Feels Parents’ Pain square. And he also gives you the Pushes Responsibility To Provinces and another Every Step of the Way square. And somewhere in there is a Throat Malfunction square and Concerned Priest Handclasp. And a bonus “We will continue to work with provinces” from the Tenth Generation card, which I forgot before.

Macron is okay with pissing people off. Trudeau, on the other hand, wants everyone to join the circle and sing Kumbaya. C’mon, reporter whose name I didn’t catch. You know that.

That’s why the bromance works!

It’s never too late to do the right thing. Never too late to get your first dose. That healthcare worker will be IMMENSELY PLEASED to give you that first dose today.

Justin Trudeau

Ooh, Sunwing Scandal! They rented a plane out for a party flight to Cancun that broke all the Covid rules, so the reporter asks about punishment for the airline. Never mind the passengers, who obligingly posted video proof of violation to every social media platform in this quadrant of the galaxy. Trudeau gives a vague “we are looking into it” answer, and a ton of outrage about the offensiveness of it. Can we cut to Freeland and ask her about auditing the airline and clawing back pandemic supports?

Good question about the feds providing vaccines and rapid tests to first nations communities, pointing out that provincial governments have repeatedly shat the bed on distributing rapid tests (I may be paraphrasing). Trudeau gives you a We Are Taking This Seriously answer. Duclos gives more granular details.

Do we have a square for Writes Notes? I always wonder what they’re writing. Jeez, even the author can’t remember all these squares anymore. Maybe if I made TWO cups of coffee and forgot them in the kitchen I’d be more on the ball.

A good question from NaPo about whether or not Trudeau is concerned about the ways provinces are making decisions on how to distribute rapid tests, and whether they are effective at doing the job of distribution or not. Trudeau says that we are a federation and healthcare is a provincial responsibility. “Our responsibility as a federal government is to ensure there are enough rapid tests, vaccines, treatments, border controls…” He expresses hope that provinces can learn from one another (and surely Ontario and Alberta are doing just that, in a race to the bottom).

Trudeau is out, but the camera did NOT follow him out of the room. For once. And now mark your Dr Njoo square and your Dr Njoo Is Not Wearing Glasses square. And “Donc,” my favourite square.

Dr. Tam is pixelated and buffered, so mark your “technical difficulties” square. And that’s a wrap!

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