The phrase "short illness" is used when one does want to reveal the actual cause of death or the cause is not publicly known.
The post features an image with a collage of different headlines, all of which report that someone died after a short illness. The comments on the post makes assertions that the phrase "brief illness" or "short illness" has only been used this year to describe someone's death because the government or medical agencies want to cover up vaccine-related deaths.
The post in question was initially made by a Facebook user on August 29. It was then shared by The Light Truthpaper: the online presence of the print paper that is simply called The Light. According to an article by the Guardian, this "self-published conspiracy theorist 'truthpaper' [is] edited by a man from Manchester who runs a business selling anti-vaccine T-shirts and 9/11 conspiracy merchandise." The Facebook page has almost 10k followers.
The first headline in the post relates to a Gogglebox star called Andy Michae, who recently died. Channel 4 recently tweeted, "We are deeply saddened to share the passing of Gogglebox star Andy Michael at the age of 61 following a short illness." The reason behind Michael's death has not been made public. There is no evidence that his death was due to a COVID-19 vaccine.
A similar story applies to the second headline, which is about a 25-year veteran of law enforcement who died after a brief illness. His illness has not been defined, and no evidence suggests that he died of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The third headline features a headline from Mail Online, which was published on May 23. It is about BBC Radio Newcastle presenter Lisa Shaw who passed away on May 21. The BBC described her death as having taken place after a short illness since the reason behind her death was unknown at the time. However, a coroner recently confirmed that Shaw's death was due to complications caused by a COVID vaccine. All newspapers, as well as the BBC, reported the coroner's verdict. No outlet tried to cover up the cause of death or tried to deny the fact that her death was due to the vaccine.
The fourth headline refers to the death of former Fidelity CIO Simon Fraser. Fraser's death was also described as a short illness because the reason behind his death has not been made public. Again, there is no evidence that he died after or because of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The fifth headline refers to Public Works Director Shira McWaters, who died in June 2021. The reason behind her death has not been made public. There is no evidence that she died after a COVID-19 vaccine.
The sixth headline in the collage refers to the death of American actor Richard Gilliland. While most newspapers described his death to have occurred after a brief illness, his wife told the New Yorker weeks after his death that Gilliland died of heart complications.
The seventh headline refers to the death of DJ Miss K From Durban, who died unexpectedly in May 2021. Her mother said she was feeling ill and went to a local clinic, where she, unfortunately, passed away. The cause of death has not been made public.
The eighth headline refers to the death of BBC Radio presenter Dominic Busby. On the week of his death, news organizations reported that he died after a short illness until the Guardian published his obituary, where his brother said that Busby died from a brain tumor.
The ninth and the last headline refers to the death of a Wisconsin FFA advisor Jeff Hicken. Hicken suffered from medical complications a month before his death, and maybe those complications resulted in him passing away. The cause of death has also not been made public.
A simple Google search shows that the term "died after a short illness" was common in journalese long before COVID-19. It is therefore incorrect to allege that "died after short illness" is a new phrase and is being used to cover up COVID-19 vaccines related deaths.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.