By Max Ashby Holme
The law doth punish man or woman
That steals the goose from off the common,
But lets the greater felon loose
That steals the common from the goose.
– Excerpt from “The Goose and the Commons” (c. 17th cent.) 
As lockdown measures in the UK are eased, we must consider the kind of world COVID-19 will leave behind. The coronavirus has been called a ‘great leveller’. As Paul Bristow, the Conservative MP for Peterborough, put it: ‘It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live, or what circumstances you come from – we are all at risk.’  This statement is misleading, however, since coronavirus amplifies existing social inequalities. Not only do life savings help to mitigate the financial impact of the virus on the wealthy, they are also more likely to be able to work from home, and less likely to find themselves in overcrowded accommodation, without access to gardens.  Those most exposed to the virus, including care home workers, bus drivers, and shop keepers – as well as hospital staff – are overwhelmingly the lowest paid members of the workforce.  Furthermore, coronavirus disproportionately affects people from BAME backgrounds.  It is a myth that the virus affects everyone equally, and the political origins of the term ‘leveller’ illustrate even more clearly how poor a label it is for coronavirus.