WE’RE all in an uncomfortable limbo at the moment. Some restrictions have been lifted, and we’ve become used to changes like wearing masks and meeting up with friends outside.

Now there are different uncertainties than before, and in discussions from local community groups to senior council leadership, we’re planning for how to recover from the devastating impacts of Covid-19 whilst still maintaining vigilance for a renewed outbreak, conscious that it’s not over yet.

One of the things we’re wrestling with is that there were already so many huge issues in our city, and now coronavirus has exacerbated these issues.

Where digital exclusion was a barrier before, it’s become a crucial factor in whether kids can access education and whether parents can access support. Where social isolation was already a significant challenge, now the complexities of shielding and the changes to service provision have made isolation even more widespread.

We were never all in this together – people’s existing experiences of poverty, marginalisation, exclusion and barriers to participation meant that we have all experienced this crisis

in very different ways. The Glasgow Disability Alliance writes that Covid-19 has ‘supercharged’ inequalities already experienced by disabled people; that pandemic responses have created new inequalities. Women’s organisations report that women at home all the time have been more at risk of domestic abuse exerted by husbands whose own sense of control has been shaken.

We know that BME people, often working the most at-risk jobs and excluded from information and support, have been disproportionately affected by coronavirus. And we know that the additional p overty caused by loss of income in the pandemic will have hugely increased stress levels. Our health is so clearly interlinked with money and power.

This isn’t new. In 2016, a groundbreaking report by Glasgow Centre for Population Health examined why our city has the worst health outcomes in western Europe. What emerged was a complex picture of inter-related factors – and that the health of our city has been shaped by political choices.

From housing to air pollution, from economic policy to child poverty; Glasgow’s health is the way it is now because of the political choices of the past decades. This is bleak, but it is also strangely hopeful. It suggests that better informed, more thoughtful political decisions can actually reverse these trends.

For our collective health to recover and be resilient for the future, what we need is bold leadership. We can’t go back to economics as usual – we must build back with the number one goal of reducing financial inequality. The gap in Glasgow between rich and poor in terms of income, wealth, power and therefore health was already a canyon, and Covid has carved that canyon wider still.

I hope that what we learn from this crisis is the importance of health – for ourselves, our families, for our city. That feeling safe and secure is both fragile and priceless. And that health – who has it, and who does not – is always linked to money and power.