Caffeine and Hate is all I need

Covid Briefing Bingo Rises from the Tomb.

Yes, we are still naming these after Paul Naschy werewolf films, because why the fuck not?

Horror rises from the tomb

Horror rises from the tomb, as do I every morning, dear reader.

Play one board or play them all. Here are all the Covid Briefing Bingo cards to date.

Here’s your video. Is it my imagination or does Trudeau seem a little cranky today? Maybe just undercaffeinated; speaking for myself I find it hard enough to just tweet these briefings before coffee, never mind delivering one.

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. He is joined by federal ministers Marc Miller (Indigenous services) and Ahmed Hussen (families, children and social development), as well as Dr. Theresa Tam (Canada’s chief public health officer) and Dr. Howard Njoo (the deputy chief public health officer). Drs. Tam and Njoo also present the latest federal epidemiological modelling data.

Everyone is late again, so that’s good. My coffee is almost ready! And we salute you, Brave Reporter Who Sits In The Front Row. Mark off that square.

Head’s up, and here they come. “Blue suit with brown shoes WhICH IS JUST MOrALLY WrONG” and “Maple Leaf Accessory” and “Poppy” square active, as well as “Someone appears via video screen”. And “App” too. And it appears that my CAPSLOCK key needs help. As do I, capslock, as do I.

Oh, SOOOPER, my website is frozen. So guess you need to be on Twitter to do #BriefingBingo today. Loving that. I guess you should mark your “Technical difficulties” square; and they can’t seem to get Minister Hussen’s mic to work either so that’s double technical difficulties.

Yep, there you go. Mark the “Finds new way to give Canadians money” square. As usual. I gotta get me some of that. Well, not THIS money. Other money. I’m sure at some point they’ll announce targeted support for underemployed semi-retired bloggers-turned-journalists-turned-bloggers, right?

I tried to do a Twitter Thread but because I was undercaffeinated I screwed it up, alas. That’ll teach me to start before my coffee’s ready. Follow the hashtag #BriefingBIngo instead for today.

Immigration as a key part of the economic recovery? Compare and contrast to the US, where they’re putting their immigrants in cages and restricting entry to the country according to religion. Which, when paired with banning certain countries, is basically a shortcut to institutional racism.

I have dug up the Twitter accounts of the participants in the almost certainly vain hope of an RT at some point in the future, so here we go:

Dr. Theresa Tam:

Dr Howard Njoo, who does not tweet anymore:

Justin Trudeau:

Marc Miller:

Ahmed Hussen:

New app update? You can now enter the date you got tested and when notified, which will be very helpful. And it’s optional: it really is pretty good privacy-wise. Yeah, good luck to that guy headed for Boston. I’d wear a full Hazmat suit, myself.

Interesting that this briefing is primarily focused on safe water supplies to First Nations. High time. Past time.

Seriously though, when are they coming out with poppy-themed masks? Seems like a no-brainer to me. @RCL_DC get on that!

Pretty gross that we’re diagnosing significantly more cases daily than ever before. Beginning to second-guess staying in Ontario vs moving back to BC immediately. If they’ll even have me.

Gotta say, I am loving the Tam/Njoo teamwork here.

Science lessons with Canada’s leading medical specialists! The Two Doctors are walking us through how pandemics spread, and how if each infected person infects less than one other person it’ll die out.

My local bbq place re-opened for indoor seating for 1 DAY. Today the patio is open, tomorrow they’re pulling the grill out and putting it in the parking lot for tailgating. A healthy adaptation and good for sales, because it smells so good you MUST buy!

Looking at the infection rates for age groups. BRB, off to change my “target market’ on dating sites.

Interesting. Covid19 infection rates vary directly with other social challenges, ie poor people and the other marginalized groups are disproportionately hit by the disease. Sophie Grégoire Trudeau is the outlier here. But she had it before it was cool. Goddamn hipsters.

Yep, pretty clear that reopening schools was problematic. And here’s your reminder, before you bitch at me on Twitter, that I don’t care about how badly you needed the peace and quiet. Good to see fewer people in hospital with #Covid19. We now have support systems like #caremongering to help people stay home when infected.

GODDAMMIT! I forgot my coffee has been sitting in the kitchen waiting for me to notice it for 45 minutes. Clearly, I need coffee.

The Roommate finally got his #Covid19 test done. FINALLY. I’ve only been sick for 8 weeks. *chews anti-viral gummy* Meanwhile on CPAC, Trudeau looks particularly peeved today. Wonder why? Usually he only looks like that when he’s anticipating WE questions. Trudeau needs a coffee as badly a I do.

I like that tie. I’m so bored from the lockdown that looking at a tie that throws off weird moiré patterns on tv is the highlight of my day.

Dr Tam says that I should get rid of my roommate for my own safety. I’m on board. Wonder if she can hook me up with some ricin? We are supposed to decrease our contacts by 25% and basically since March I’ve seen The Roommate, The Sister, and 2 friends. And I ain’t killing The Sister: she takes me on scenic drives!

Opioid deaths have doubled in some FN communities? Interesting. Decriminalization seems like Not The Issue, in this case. We really need harm reduction. I mean, most of these drugs are not illegal, period.

For all that this briefing has a ton of information it’s been very poor on the #Covid19#BriefingBingo front. Basically all the squares were ticked in the first 90 seconds. C’mon, give us at least a “donc”.

Canadian arms were sold to Turkey and ended up being used by the Azeris in the current conflict. Export permits to Turkey apparently now suspended, says Trudeau.

And we’re on to the questions:

If you know he’s not going to comment on the US election, why did you ask the question? I mean, he gets asked this every single day and he’s never answered it once. You only get “We are keeping Canadians safe.”

Yet another question about safe drinking water on reservations. I’m glad to see the pressure on. This needs to be fixed. It’s been 150 years, people.

There’s a good question. Basically “What do you wish you’d done differently so that so many people don’t feel as alienated from their government?” Trudeau says “we will work with anyone from any party”. Mark “Shades tories” square & “Building back better”.

Oh, I missed it but yes, mark off your “Swaps out the sign language interpreters”. And good question about why there are so many outbreaks in healthcare settings, not long term care.

If I end up in the hospital, send flowers. Don’t visit. I mean, you were never gonna visit me anyway, but at least this way you might send flowers.

There’s your “PPE” square, mark that one off.

Question about the availability of the flu vaccine. If I ever get over whatever flu I currently have, I’ll get the shot. Week eight and counting, y’all.

“Big parties are off.” Dr Tam makes it clear even for, say, rich retired hockey players with brain injuries and terrible taste in politics.

I think I’m going to have to add a square for “Vigilant” for the next card. There we go, mark your “who we are” square. Do I have a square for “Every step of the way?” If I do, mark that square. And “addresses reporter by name”.

Mark your “Rapid tests” square, I think that’s in the fifth generation bingo card. Man, next time I’m going to have my coffee a good half hour before the briefing. And that’s a wrap!

Covid Briefing from the Tomb

Yes, we’re still naming these after old Paul Naschy werewolf movies, because why the fuck not? Today we’ve got a late start, which is unusual since the briefings moved to this plain briefing room in the Sir John A. Macdonald Building. Which nomenclature is surely going to be questioned the next time a statue is toppled. But the delay is a damn good thing, because I’m late and my coffee hasn’t finished brewing yet. You can tell, because I’ve already sworn twice.

Can’t wait till La Covid Briefing Bingo del Hombre Lobo

Our current and previous bingo cards:

And meanwhile, in Canada.

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 federal minister Ahmed Hussen (families, children and social development) and Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer.

Mark “journalist sits in the front row” and “Blue suit” squares. I should make a “starts late” square. Oh, and there’s “Building back better” so mark that off.

And there’s the “App” square as well. Oh, and I forgot “Begins in English” and “Maple leaf accessory” for the mask. And yes, certainly I’m over-thinking this because I’m bored, but I wonder what makes the difference between days we get “Bonjour à tous” and “Bonjour tout le monde.” I feel like on the latter days, le monde must have done something to get sent to the principal’s office.

Now we’re talking about the national homelessness strategy and the new Rapid Housing Initiative which is worth an even billion. The pandemic has added housing pressure, of course: how do you self-isolate if you live in public? For all that a billion dollars seems a great deal of money, one thing we do know is that every dollar invested in housing the homeless reduces social costs of homelessness by more than a dollar fifty.

There’s a “names small business” and I’m going to rule that the homelessness announcement as well as the rent supports and the rest altogether counts as “Finds a new way to give Canadians money.” Trudeau’s not the only one in a generous mood today.

The only drawback to doing these live is that my coffee is sitting in the kitchen waiting for me to get it, and I can’t. If you knew how good my coffee is, and how undercaffeinated I currently am, you would feel my pain.

And now Minister Hussen is unpacking the details of the anti-homelessness initiative. Glad to hear they’ve picked the right cities. Dr Njoo is going over the Covid stats, average daily case count is over 2,000 and the rate of serious infections is also increasing. Oh, and mark the “My aunt calls during the briefing” square, because yeah, she did.

I need to add another square for “The Roommate turns the tv up so loud I can’t hear the briefing on my noise-cancelling headphones” or would that be too passive-aggressive, even for a Canadian? What if I do it in French, so he can’t read it?

Lordy, it’s SO much easier to liveblog with coffee in me. Not that you care. The public is ruthless.

Now we have “audio malfunction” and “Throat malfunction” and I was in the kitchen getting my coffee, so I didn’t see if we got the “Drinks Water” square as well. Did we? LMK.

Good to hear the first question is about systemic anti-indigenous racism in the RCMP. And it’s not ducked, it’s given a fair “we need to do more” so tick off the “Calls someone out for bigotry” even if it’s the RCMP.

Oh, and two things are clear now that I see it on the laptop rather than the phone: the suit is grey, not blue, and I should have been doing these as Twitter threads all along, duh, oh well, next time.

On a question about the terrorist attack in France, Trudeau extends condolences to the victim, his family, and the nation of France. He states that terrorism is an act that is unlike any other, and unacceptable in any circumstance. I don’t think he named Macron at all; he did it by referring to the nation and the people of “our ally” France.

There are layers of irony in the fact that I’m liveblogging the anti-terroism, anti-pandemic, anti-bigotry briefing while The Roommate’s tv nearly drowns it out. He’s watching Game of Thrones, because of course he is.

And now we have questions about the by-elections, which added 2 Liberals to the total. Congratulating the winners was the first order of business in this briefing. And dammit, I missed it but you should tick off “Swaps out the sign language interpreters”.

And also Trudeau specifically points out that this means they have two women replacing two men, so we are that much closer to a correct and just gender split in the Commons.

“We are in an unprecedented global pandemic that really sucks.” Well, you can’t argue with that. Oh, and then mark the “Who we are” square, because he’s putting that on YOU. YES YOU. We got “Sucks” twice that I counted. Maybe it should be a square? It’s 2020. Seems appropriate.

And we’ve got “concerned priest handclasp” so mark that square too. This is a damn good speech. And there’s your “Thousand Yard Stare” and I’m not kidding. You should watch the video. We’ve only had it once before, when Trudeau was asked about the military report on the long term care homes. Which, yeah.

A reporter just asked the Prime Minister how he’s going to guarantee that information will not change from one week to the next during a global pandemic. Gee, I know someone who got a journalism degree, not a science one.

And yes, “Rapid testing” square also. And also “refers to reporter by name” from earlier. We now have the “Donc” and the “Stern Teacher Voice” squares in action.

I think I’m gonna call this “Pushes responsibility to provinces” when it comes to forcing the use of the app. And now Trudeau is out. Interestingly, the camera follows him out of the room even though Minister Hussen is in the middle of answering a question. Not the choice I would have made, but then I am not a camera op.

Why haven’t we had any Two Michaels questions recently? And I just noticed Canada has had fewer diagnosed cases than the US has had actual deaths. And among the diagnosed, our mortality rate is roughly half of theirs.

And there’s the unequivocal “pushes responsibility to provinces” so if for some reason you didn’t mark that square before, do it now.

Yay! Finally! Mark your “Second wave” square. “Social cohesion” sounds like the most Canadian social principle of all time.

And that’s a wrap. See you at some vaguely-defined point in the future.

Night of the Covid Briefing Bingo

Named after the fact that I stayed up all night to reset my clock and also after one of the wolfman movies of Paul Naschy, which are delightfully cheesy but somehow have heart. He was never supposed to star in them at all (he was a writer) but for some reason I forget and which you did not come here to learn, he ended up starring in a whole raft of them.

I didn’t think “The Covid Briefing Bingo’s Bloody Terror” was quite appropriate. Yet. We’ll see where we are come December. So, Night of the Covid Briefing Bingo it is.

Our previous bingo cards:

Here’s our video from October 20th’s briefing; we’re going to be sticking with CPAC, methinks, from here on out because it’s me who makes those decisions and while I love Rosie Barton, I’m not thrilled with the CBC generally at the present time. Also I’m getting a kick out of testing my French, which has become slightly less appalling than it used to be, even if I’m so rusty I’m not technically bilingual anymore BUT I’M SO OVER THAT.

Trudeau, Freeland, Tam, Njoo, and Ng.

Here we go, in English and in a blue suit, so mark those squares. Also the maple leaf mask is there, so get that one as well.

200,000 cases of Covid-19 have been diagnosed in Canada, which is pretty horrifying. But then, with fewer than 10,000 deaths, we do have a mortality rate among the diagnosed which is roughly 50% of the US’s, so that’s good. I’d love to ask Dr. Tam why that is, mostly because it’s a great opportunity to wave the Socialized Medicine flag.

BANG! We’re on to the Fifth Generation card right away, with a strong “Team Canada” right in the first minute. And there’s the app reference, and PPE as well. We might actually fill in a line on one of these goddamn cards some day.

Small business week is definitely your “non-religious day, week, or month”. And there’s “From the beginning”. And now we have “names a small business” and did you notice he mentioned the Vancouver business in his English remarks, but the Papineau business in his French remarks. I did. SEE I TOLD YOU MY FRENCH WAS GOOD ENOUGH! But I’m over that.

The Community Resilience Fund is of intense interest to me; radicalization has been my journalistic focus for quite some time, and I have some excellent plans for some related projects. I’ll definitely be following up on that.

And there’s your “Announces yet another way to give Canadians money” thanks to Minister Ng. Every time they do this the Conservatives die a little. And there’s the mandatory “use the app” lecture. The Roommate is very angry that a doctor at his work was diagnosed with Covid-19, but a) the app didn’t notify him, and should have if the doctor had it installed and b) I note that even though he found out about it two weeks ago HE DID NOT TELL ME gosh I hammer the capslock when I’m sleep deprived and may have been exposed to a deadly virus without my knowledge, eh?

Freeland is wearing pearls, so that’s on your Fifth Generation card.

There’s Dr Tam asking those of us on social media to share the news about these briefings and fight disinformation and misinformation BUT YOU THINK I CAN GET AN RT FROM THESE PEOPLE? Nooooooooo! But I’m over that.

On to the questions from journalists now. Trudeau KNOWS he’s going to get that bloody WE thing yet again, and doesn’t he just look thrilled about it? Oh, and there’s “Audio malfunction” so mark that off. Even the Prime Minister gets muted sometimes, it appears.

And there’s your “Drinks water” square. And of course the “WE Scandal crawls out of the grave to terrorize/bore Canadians yet again”. And there’s your “Sign language interpreters get swapped out.” And your “Mentions a reporter by name.” By golly, I think we’re going to complete a column or row in this thing pretty quickly.

And there’s “From the very beginning” yet again, so make sure you have that marked off. I think it’s on the Third Generation card.

Ottawa says no trick or treating, and the Trudeaus are huge Halloween fans, so they’re fishing around for other options. At least there won’t be any blackface this year (yeah, somebody had to be That Asshole so I stepped up and did it).

There you go, “Conspiracy Theory” is in action. Lordy, the “Covid concentration camps” thing is evergreen, isn’t it? And it’s so obviously a psyop to convince people with the disease to hide it.

And we have “someone admits they’re not familiar with what the journalist is referencing” and also “Freeland’s papers go all the way across the desk”.

Dr. Tam is really all over this “Make your own social media stuff to fight disinformation” thing, and she might actually talk me into taking OpCovid19 out of mothballs. And obviously, mark your “Vaccine” square.

And there’s Freeland with a really good spontaneous talk about systemic racism. Using the word “racist” to describe racist attacks is not inappropriate or unhelpful.

And that’s a wrap, y’all. See you…at some vaguely defined point in the future!

Beyond the Son of Under the Planet of Covid Briefing Bingo

The Covid Briefing Show, Daily Edition
The Covid Briefing Show, now daily

This is getting to be a regular thing, isn’t it? I really should invest the time in creating some new bingo cards, particularly as these have become an ensemble show rather than a solo act, but that’ll have to wait till Friday, as I’m currently editing a business book that’s due Friday and I’m only 40 pages in. Wish me luck.

Your previous Covid Briefing Bingo cards:

And here is our video for today. I was gonna mix things up and use the CBC video today, but their French translator’s mic was so low the dynamic range was annoying me, and so I switched back. Also, today I lost out on a federal government gig I could have absolutely rocked, just because I stupidly admitted I’d need a refresher course to be bilingual again, and so I’m going to test my French. So you must suffer with me, dear reader.

That is your role in this very slow-moving tragedy. To suffer with me.

And now, the video, featuring PM Justin Trudeau, Dr. Theresa Tam, and Dr. Howard Njoo, and Minister Dominic Leblanc. Why is there no abbreviation for Minister? There probably is, but it’s been hushed up. It’s Ottawa.

Again, we have “Begins in English” after a token French greeting, and this time mark the grey suit square, and a very shiny grey suit it is, too. If I still had my old tailor client I’d ask him for his professional opinion. I do like that red tie. Also check off “Wears mask” because he took it off just before the cameras rolled, and the other two just after they did. And, of course, “Namechecks Dr. Theresa Tam” because she’s right there. It’d be weird if he didn’t. And we don’t want it to get weird.

Do we?

Some of us are old pros at “weird”

There’s your “Calls someone out for bigotry” square, and if we had one you could mark the “Stern look” one as well, but we don’t. Someday in the future, dear readers, some day when I’m not procrastinating on editing a book.

182,839 confirmed Covid cases. Yeugh. At least our mortality rate is something like half the American rate. Take that, American healthcare snobs!

Oh and that was “every step of the way” so mark that one too.

And now everyone’s favourite part: the part where they talk about giving money to Canadians. Trudeau outlines the CRB, the new paid sick leave, and the caregiver supports. I did my application for the CRB, the CERB replacement, and it took about 90 seconds. Dead easy, and I didn’t need to gather a billion documents first, which is good, because although they exist, most of them are being used as bookmarks somewhere in my room right now.

And now on to business supports, which I’m frankly paying less attention to because I figure that’s capitalism’s problem.

Oh, we knew it was coming. There’s your “app” square. I did a little digging, and it’s true: the app is not a privacy-buster. Like, at all. If you’ve got an Android device, it does need your location services enabled, but that’s because Google set their operating system up that way: Bluetooth won’t work unless location services are enabled. Take it up with Google. The app doesn’t convey that information to the government: the device shares it with Google, constantly.

Minster Leblanc is going into more detail about business supports, but I’m distracted by the lighting, which made it look as if he were wearing corpse-blue gloves. I’m shallow.

And he now challenges everyone to contribute directly to their own community. A national volunteerism challenge: nice. And how fucking Canadian! What am I gonna do, now that I’m not contagious anymore and can’t deliberately infect the Q-fanciers with The Plague?

9,627 deaths from Covid-19 in Canada, Dr. Tam says. Again, that’s about half the mortality rate among the diagnosed that the US is reporting. And all this talk about Thanksgiving means mark off the “Shout-out to non-religious holiday” on the Second Generation card.

Interesting. Dr Tam takes English, Dr Njoo takes French. That’s a good A/B team. And no, I’m not still bitter about not getting a federal government job because I said my French was rusty. I’m SOOOO OVER THAT!

And on to the questions now. Will someone drink water? Gesticulate? Almost certainly, dear readers. We know our people by now. And there we go, Dr. Njoo is drinking water, he’s given you that First Generation card square!

OH MY GOD, big news, kittens! We have FLAG DERANGEMENT, I repeat: WE HAVE FLAG DERANGEMENT! See how Minster Leblanc’s flags are only kinda-sorta arranged properly? But not really? Mark that square, I thought we’d never see this day.

“WE”? AGAIN? Oh, people. The WE scandal is the Covid-19 of scandals: incredibly slow-moving, poorly-understood, politicized up the ying-yang, and excruciatingly dull. A friend was explaining the scandal to an American, who interrupted him incredulously to reply, “I wish I was Canadian.” You can tell Trudeau is SO over it.

There’s your “throat malfunction” square, for the throat-clearing. And he gives you the standard “We are focused on helping Canada get through the pandemic. The Conservatives can focus on whatever they like.”

Yes! There’s your “Shades Harper” square. It warms the frozen cockles of my heart. I hope somewhere on his home planet Stephen Harper shivers, and feels an eerie chill. Nice of that reporter to give him a chance to repeat EXACTLY what he just said in response to the previous question, in both official languages.

There’s your “Gesticulates” square, which is kind of weird, as Trudeau is gesturing to Leblanc, who is onscreen and probably can’t see him at all. But it works on video, and it counts for your Covid Briefing Bingo square, and that, we can agree, is the main thing.

There’s the “Two Michaels” square. I’d like to know which countries Trudeau means when he says we will work with “like-minded countries”. There’s at least one fewer than there used to be these days.

That’s “Pushes responsibility to provinces” if my French is any good, which IT SO IS, HIRING COMMITTEE IT SO IS! but I’m over that. It’s gonna have to be, because he’s not doing the translation into English. I may have to learn sign language to get simultranslation.

“Rapid testing” needs to be on the next square, for sure. Oh, and that’s how you pronounce “panacea.” I wondered. I got “Hermione” wrong for the first two of the Harry Potter books. Thanks, Teach.

That question was in English, but I can’t say that I understood the English. It was something about the security services. And we know quite well that Five Eyes agreements mandate things that are contrary to Canadian privacy law, so don’t try to slide that past us, Zoolander.

And the health question. I mean, you can just look at him: he could probably lead a yoga class at lunch without breaking a sweat. Trudeau confirms that he’ll let the media know when there’s something the media should know, but doesn’t say if he’ll notify them he’s GOING to be tested.

Oh, there’s your “Maple leaf accessory” as the Prime Minister leaves, putting on a new mask with a bigger, grey maple leaf. And i just noticed, the flags in the briefing room are stitched. That maple leaf is appliqued, not printed on. Hum. Your tax dollars at work.

Well, since we don’t have any more relevant squares, it’s time to call it a wrap. See you tomorrow at (checks website) not-tomorrow. Who knows when? I always like a little suspense in my assignments.

Daily Briefing Bingo Edition 2.0

PM Zoolander rides a moose. As one does.

PM Zoolander rides a moose as one does.

If you’re new to Daily Briefing Bingo, check out Daily Briefing Bingo Edition 1.0 and get your first-edition Daily Briefing Bingo card. From this point onward, you can play either or both cards from this point onward.

The first edition card does not have any completed lines yet, but here’s hoping! Come on, Ascot! Come on, Jeans! Come on, Blue Steel! Sadly, second column is a complete skunk, with not a single box ticked at this point. Ou est le blue plaid jacket d’antan?

Here’s the Daily Briefing Bingo Card Edition 2.0. It’s a PDF, so if you’ve got the right software you download and play with it on the computer, or you can print it out and mark it up in meatspace, rollin’ old skool.

Moving forward, from this point on, our new reality is (sorrynotsorry) squares featuring appearances by a diverse cast of characters and phrases including international vaccine alliance GAVI, visible perspiration, porchscaping, “Ramping up”, “The new normal”, “Who we are”, and the highly controversial Wears brown shoes with a grey or blue suit, which is JUST MORALLY WRONG.

Remember to play safe, and maintain good social distancing and mask hygiene while playing, and to never, and I mean never, speak moistly.