Without Covid policies that aid poorer people, months of further restrictions will further exacerbate inequality

We have heard the soundbites throughout the pandemic: “we’re all in this together”; “the virus does not discriminate”. These are strong words, but such simplistic notions could not be further from reality. It is now well documented that there have been huge disparities across population groups in both the likelihood of becoming infected with Covid and also in the severity of the impact of lockdown restrictions on travel, work and education.

Boris Johnson’s announcement on Monday night was expected and necessary, given that hospital admission rates are now 40% higher than ever before, but, like many others, I felt demoralised by it. Once again, there is a sinking feeling, with no clear end date for lockdown, and the only certainty being that we will see increasing numbers of deaths from Covid in the coming weeks. However, my work with colleagues on how policy decisions shape future health inequalities makes me acutely aware that I will not be among the worst affected.

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