If the coronavirus crisis has taught us one thing it is that in times of crisis it is not the hedge fund managers that we turn to to get us through.
While investment firms such as the one set up by Jacob Rees-Mogg advertise “super normal returns” and other funds short sell UK-listed companies to profiteer off the virus-driven stock market collapse, essential workers have never been more visible.
Every Thursday at 8pm we clap our essential NHS workers, but we would be could just as well be clapping our postal workers, shop workers, bus drivers and care home workers.
These are the people keeping society functioning, but until the pandemic hit they were the ones being scapegoated and marginalised by politicians.
Coronavirus has put the spotlight on how essential they really are, but it has also disproportionately targeted them.
As Emily Maitlis put it on Newsnight, coronavirus is “not a great leveller, the consequences of which everyone, rich or poor, suffers the same.
“Those on the front line right now, bus drivers, shelf stackers, nurses, care home workers, hospital staff and shopkeepers are disproportionately the lower paid members of our workforce.
“They are more likely to catch the disease because they are more exposed”.
And so it has been found.
Early research into the impacts of Covid-19 has revealed that BAME people are disproportionately affected by the disease.
Research from the Intensive Care National Audit (ICNA) up to the beginning of April found that of nearly 2,000 critically ill patients, 35 per cent were non-white.
This was despite BAME people accounting for only 13 per cent of the population in Britain.
Although there are a few reasons for why this may be the case it is likely down to the fact that high numbers of BAME people work for the NHS – where individuals would be at higher risk of exposure to the disease.
Data shows that 18.4 per cent of NHS staff is made up of BAME people.
Moreover, more than a quarter of transport workers in London, who still operate reduced services, are from minority backgrounds.
It goes to show that rather being the great equaliser that many had foretold, coronavirus has actually been a “magnifier” of the inequality and injustice that permeates every aspect of society.
As Barry Malone notes, it “allows some to take refuge behind money and privilege while those less fortunate are left to struggle”.
But moreover, it shows how woefully neglectful we have been of those people, and the role they play within our society.