249. The danger of metaphors

Metaphors have their dangers. They require the same level of cognitive intelligence in those who hear them than in their proponents and, without it, they can lead to misunderstanding and misinterpretation. We’ve seen a good example this week. Humanity was challenged this year by a new virus which spread like wildfire, changed our way of life and reminded us of our ultimately frailty. Humanity, always resourceful, responded with a herculean effort to develop vaccines, diagnostics and treatments which would restore our freedom, conducted with such unprecedented speed, internationally, that the analogy of a race was used. Humanity against the virus. This is how most understood it. Except the UK government, it seems. Whilst the rest of the World cooperated to beat the virus, Hancock, Williamson et al were engaged in a different race. UK versus Europe, the eternal, imaginary enemy. Luckily for us, most governments and normal humans understood we were racing the virus, not our neighbours 

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