Government Twitter account ‘missed the mark’ with COVID-19 ‘self-care bingo’ card

VANCOUVER — A self-care bingo card, shared on the B.C. government’s Twitter account, is drawing frustration from some residents and Twitter users.

The bingo card, which includes a variety of COVID-19 self-care ideas to “help manage some stress and anxiety” was shared on the account on Feb. 19.

“Identify how you’ve taken care of yourself so far this week with the goal to complete a row, column, or diagonal,” it reads.

Squares on the bingo card include actions such as “Made a blanket fort,” “Went to a park,” “Mediated,” and “Cried. Let it out.”

The tweet also included a link to a list of “free and low cost options” for mental health support.

Twitter users, some listed as B.C. residents, responded in force, and called the bingo card tone deaf and insulting.

One user, Oman Reagan, replied with his own version of the bingo card that included squares such as “Got Evicted,” “Got long covid,” “Couldn’t afford to see a therapist,” “Lost work,” “Forced to work in unsafe conditions,” and “Died.”

Another user called the tweet ableist and shameful.

“Trying to restrain myself from saying how outraged I am by this. Some of us have lost family members, (and) can’t find therapists to help us cope,” wrote Twitter user @marionetta.

“Struggling financially. Isolated. Herbal tea or going for a walk will not fix this. Tone deaf. Ableist. Shameful.”

Nicola Spurling, a former B.C. Green Party candidate, also Tweeted her frustration.

“What in the fresh pile of crap is this? Some of the actions taken by this government are reason to cry, but that shouldn’t be the highlighted reason for how to deal with the pandemic nor is it a productive way of dealing with this government’s actions,” reads her Tweet.

The government Twitter account later replied and said that while it received some positive feedback, it also heard that it had “missed the mark.”

“Our (bingo card) post was meant to give people ideas of how they can take care of themselves and their neighbours and point them to free and low-cost mental health supports,” it reads.

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