A lot of people are still confused about the difference between Sars-CoV-2 (the virus) and COVID-19 (the disease), and why it matters.
Several have suggested it's just semantics. I don't think it is and I will try to explain why. (thread)
H1N1 is a respiratory virus. If you contract that virus, you will likely have mild symptoms. We refer to this as a COLD.

In rarer cases, H1N1 can lead to a more severe collection of symptoms, characterising a disease we call INFLUENZA.
SARS-CoV-2 is a respiratory virus. If you contract that virus, you will likely have mild symptoms. We refer to this as a COLD.

In rarer cases, SARS-CoV-2 can lead to a more severe collection of symptoms, characterising a disease we call COVID-19.
Conflating the virus and the disease is like calling all colds influenza. This is not a problem of semantics, it is a public health issue. By referring to the virus and the disease interchangeably, we end up with headlines like this:
COVID-19: 'The worst illness I've ever had', says medical expert

A further 68,000 cases of COVID reported in ONE DAY
It is obvious to me that this can lead to unnecessary panic and convince people to accept disproportionate and dangerous measures in order to mitigate the spread of the virus.
In my view, SAGE and the gov. are aware of this. Hence the common use of the meaningless term, 'COVID'.

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More from @bobscartoons

3 May
Let me make my moral position on this whole situation as clear as possible:

I believe that any government or advisory body, faced with a pandemic of a virus which appears to be dangerous, should take action to limit the harm it causes to a population.

However, ANY action taken should UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES directly cause suffering (financial, psychological or physical) or death to any person in that population, whether or not that person is at risk from said virus.
It follows that any leaders NOT imposing measures against
a virus because they are in direct conflict with that principle, cannot be blamed for injury or death attributed to the virus. It also means that death or injury caused as a direct result of ignoring that principle, CAN and SHOULD be blamed on the leaders in question.
Read 8 tweets
21 Apr
I have never been on a protest march before.

Previously, they never made sense to me. I doubted their ability to influence events and always thought there were more effective ways of opposing things you disagreed with.

This time it's different.

This time I'm marching.
Over the past year we have lived through the greatest assault on our fundamental rights and freedoms in living memory. We have seen the total abandonment of moral principles and rational thought. Absolutely none of it has been justifiable and our institutions have failed us.
Parliament, the judiciary, the media, the education system, the health service; all of the people who were supposed to protect us from something like this happening, ALL of them, have aided and abetted the country's descent into mass-psychosis and tyrannical rule.
Read 8 tweets
14 Apr

There are many issues worthy of serious debate in a civilised society. There are ethical questions and moral dilemmas for which we have no clear cut solutions; Euthanasia, abortion, welfare, foreign aid. It is perfectly acceptable to be on either side of such debates.
But there are other areas of morality and ethics which are settled. The clear cut answers exist and ought to be understood by the majority in any decent society.
Over the past year, we have found ourselves debating such issues. They've been presented as difficult moral problems.
New conundrums never faced or considered previously:

Is it ethical to intentionally let one group of people die because you have a vague hunch it might let another group of people live?

Is the life of an 85 year old worth saving as much as the life of a five year old?
Read 10 tweets
19 Mar
I have no problem with people trying to argue that lockdown was entirely justified. It's important that we have this debate to establish whether we should ever do it again.
But what you can't do is claim that the justification for lockdown is the '130,000' people who have died.
We are not at the beginning of this, debating whether or not to lockdown. We've been doing it for a whole year. We have had stricter measures, for a longer period of time, than almost any other country on Earth. And still, you claim, 130,000 people died from the virus.
This does not help your argument. It helps ours. What you need to be questioning, establishing and the asserting is how many lives have been SAVED by what we've done.
You then need to question, establish and assert how many people have been KILLED by these measures and will be
Read 5 tweets
24 Feb
If a government chooses not to act in response to a naturally occurring virus which spreads around the country and kills people, it should not be held accountable for those deaths. In the same way that there are many actions the government could take every year to dramatically
reduce cancer deaths but they do not. Ministers are not then blamed for all the people who have died of cancer. This principle is even more relevant when the severity of said virus is uncertain and the proposed measures are unproven. And still more relevant when it quickly
becomes clear that the measures are not having the intended effect on the virus.

However, if a government TAKES ACTION - implements policies, introduces guidance, changes the law - which they know will kill people, we are talking about murder.
According to the government's own
Read 8 tweets
21 Feb
There is currently a lot of media attention on @jowhiley and the fact that her sister is in hospital with Covid-19.
I would firstly like to make clear that I hope Frances makes a full recovery. I understand very well what it is like to have a disabled family member fighting for
their life in hospital. My daughter's seizures are triggered by her having a cold and so all respiratory infections represent a real risk of death.
However, I felt that some of Jo Whiley's comments on @AndrewMarr9 today were quite misleading and I worry about them causing
unnecessary anxiety for disabled people and their families.
Jo Whiley stated that all people with a learning disability are at increased risk from Sars-CoV-2. This is not at all true.
There are many disabled people, like Frances and my daughter, with complex health conditions
Read 9 tweets

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