The Covid pandemic has held up a mirror to our society.

The pandemic has exposed the great inequalities that exist, with those living in the poorest areas most savagely hit by the disease.

Shamefully, a third of children under 16 in the UK are living below the poverty line - this in the fifth richest economy in the world.

Over a million people go to food banks in a country that has more than 150 billionaires residing within its borders.

The savagery of the so-called flexible labour market has been exposed for all to see.

Those working on zero hours contracts and forced into bogus self-employment status have been least able to cope.

Many working in the care sector are on zero hour contracts, where non-attendance means not getting paid. This has meant some have avoided being tested for Covid for fear they may have to isolate and so cannot work.

The Government has been slow to provide the required financial support for people in this type of situation to enable them to isolate.

The general health of the nation is something else that has come under scrutiny. Or should that be ill-health?

The obesity levels and general unhealthy way of living has meant the UK population has been less robust in resisting the ravages of Covid.

The country is now, hopefully, coming out of the crisis. However, lessons need to be learned, with a levelling up of society.

The great inequalities need addressing, with a closing of the gap between rich and poor. Fewer billionaires and fewer foodbanks because there are fewer hungry people.

There needs to be an end to off-loading employers’ responsibilities on employees via the likes of zero hours contracts and bogus self-employment status.

Then needs to be much greater investment in the NHS and social care sector, with a far higher value being placed on the heroic people who fill these roles.

Healthier living can also be pursued, with walking and cycling being encouraged.

These can help create a more just and equitable world coming out of the pandemic and it needs to begin here at home in Redbridge.