The horror of coronavirus is all too real. Don’t turn it into an imaginary war | Marina Hyde

Politicians may turn to platitudes about heroes or battlers or victories, but they can’t disguise Britain’s grim current reality

The language of war is baked in to most of us, to one degree or other. Our new daily discourse runs deep with talk of field hospitals, frontlines, the battles against an invisible enemy. The shock of the news that prime minister Boris Johnson lies seriously ill in intensive care drew a tide of messages and well-wishes from world leaders and other politicians, many of which invoked a kind of martial courage. “You are a fighter and we need you back.” “He is a fighter and will beat this virus.” Together, “we will be able to win this battle”. “You fight for a swift recovery.” “You are a fighter, and you will overcome this challenge.” I truly hope he does.

For his part, Dominic Raab – who will deputise for Johnson – was described as looking “shell-shocked” last night, before this morning chairing the “war cabinet”. According to the breakfast interview inquiries thrown at Michael Gove, it seems that one of the primary questions is whether Raab is now technically in charge of the UK’s response to a notional nuclear attack. I suppose we have to treat this as a matter of vital pertinence, though like many people living through this 100-year deadly pandemic, I’d have just three words for any nuclear power contemplating an imminent first strike at the UK: not now, mate.

Related: Boris Johnson’s illness is a message to us all about the horror of coronavirus | Martin Kettle

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John Naughton: It’s time for Zoom to look at the bigger picture

Zoom is rapidly becoming a synonym for video conferencing – so it needs to grow up and take data security seriously

If a week is a long time in politics, then it’s an eternity in a pandemic. A month ago nobody – save perhaps employees of globally dispersed corporations – had heard of Zoom, the video-conferencing system. Now it has apparently become a critical part of our national infrastructure as many in the population try to work from home. Zoom is currently the most popular Apple download and second most popular Android download in the world. Just as “to Google” has become a synonym for “search online”, now “Zoom” has become a verb.

This is, of course, great for Zoom Video Communications Inc. Its share price has more than doubled in the same few weeks that most stocks have plummeted. However, becoming top dog in a networked marketplace has its downsides. One of them is that journalists start digging into your past. Another is that you acquire new responsibilities.

Zoom clearly had no idea what data Facebook was collecting

Related: From Houseparty to Zoom: our digital lives in lockdown – podcast

Related: ‘Zoom is malware’: why experts worry about the video conferencing platform

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It’s only a matter of time before Raheem Sterling gets it in the neck for coronavirus | Marina Hyde

In this week’s shifting blame game, health secretary Matt Hancock has kicked Premier League footballers into touch

One of the great rules of British public life is that sooner or later, everything ends up being blamed on footballers. No matter how alien our new world looked at the start of the coronavirus shutdown, you could say one thing for sure: eventually, this will be the fault of Raheem Sterling.

I know that so-called experts will rewind through the testing failures, to the herd immunity row, to the 250,000-strong Cheltenham Festival, to the shifting epicentre of the pandemic, to Spain, to Italy, to South Korea, to air travel, to Wuhan, to patient zero, to the bat in the Chinese wet market. But in a very real sense – perhaps the realest – this whole thing traces way back beyond all that. Back, in fact, to UK humankind’s oldest enemy: young men who play in the Premier League.

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