So many people have suffered so much in 2020.

Last New Year, while we had heard of the coronavirus in China, it was never imagined that it would have caused so much damage and spread all around the world.

But spread it did and health, economic psychological impact it brought with it were enormous, and while some were undoubtedly affected more than others, no one escaped.

We have all had to adapt our lives to minimize the risk of contracting the virus and to cope with the lockdown measures that were put in place to try to contain the spread.

It has been nine long, tough months with hopes raised then dashed.

Months of missing family, not seeing friends and not being able to do the many things we all like to do together.

People have died, prematurely, others suffering the long term affects of Covid. People have lost their jobs, others worry their employment is not as secure as it might have been without lockdown.

But amongst it there has been a generosity of spirit that has helped get many people through.

When the vaccine finally gets us out of the pandemic, as it must, in 2021. There can be a temptation to rush back to life as it was pre lockdown.

This is unlikely to happen completely as there will still be some changes we need to follow.

Social distancing is probably going to continue in some form with changes made to workplace layouts and transport and how we gather for big events, either spectator or mass participation will likely take time to return to normal too.

But also, there are some aspects of 2020 and lessons it has taught us that we should not be so quick to consign to history.

On an individual level people have shown a willingness to help others when they are in need.

Community groups and organisations have stepped up their efforts to try to ensure their fellow citizens had what they needed to get through.

Local businesses, which employ so many people, adapted to stay open. It not only kept people with places to buy what they needed but kept people in employment.

People lived their lives far closer to home than ever before.

Either through furlough or working from home many more people rarely strayed more than a few miles from their doorstep.

If that teaches us anything it should be that we need to create sustainable neighbourhoods in Glasgow.

Places where we can walk, or cycle or wheel to in order to meet our basic needs.

Whether it be shopping, pubs, restaurants or leisure facilities the more local the better.

When economic conditions allow then local independent businesses, the ones that bring character and individuality to a neighbourhood will hopefully thrive.

There will still be the option to head to other places to sample their delights, but local high streets across a city like Glasgow can be an alternative to the identikit high street of multinational chains.

And there are some aspects of life in 2020 that should tell us we must change for a fairer, equal society to exist.

We have also seen the value of work close up and paid more attention to the work done by others.

While the NHS received the doorstep clapping in the Spring, as frontline staff put themselves at risk of the virus just being going to work we began to appreciate more other occupations that do not necessarily receive the same admiration.

The supermarket workers, the cleansing workers, the transport workers, the teachers and many more who had to find ways of still getting to work and fulfil their purpose.

Surely this has to bring about a re-evaluation of how we reward people for work.

The minimum and living wage structure has to be changed to ensure people are not working and living in poverty.

We have also seen more people pushed onto social security and the inadequate system that is not a safety net but leaves people with not enough to cover the basics.

We saw with the furlough scheme the UK Government i.e., the taxpayer, paying the wages of millions of people. Without it there would have been redundancies and closures on a catastrophic scale.

We also took people off the streets and put them into unused hotels. It is another example of how when faced with a societal emergency government can act.

But for every one of the individuals affected, this is an emergency. The prospect of losing your home, not keeping up with energy bills, not having enough money to feed yourself or your family is an emergency.

When we come out of this, we can ensure we rebuild not just an economic recovery but a fairer society that protects everyone in normal times.

The lesson from 2020 can be that we are a caring people who look after one another when times are hard and we should judge all out policies and politicians on that measure.

There is a chance to finally consign the ugly, individualism of the late 20th century, of everyone out for themselves, to history.

Are we going to take it?