How many different adjectives can be used to describe the Covid-19 pandemic that has swept across the world this year?

Most of the words would surely be profoundly negative as the virus has brought with it a great deal of misery and indeed tragedy for some.

But, as I have mentioned previously, there are some good things that have come about as a result of the pandemic. For example, the dramatic reduction in car journeys led to a noticeable improvement in air quality in our most built up areas. And, without doubt, we have seen just how far people are prepared to go to help and support one another.

Therefore, I am convinced that this is the time to ensure that the good things are preserved and not discarded along with aspects of the pandemic that we would rather forget!

Just as we have begun to emerge from the crisis, we have been caught up in another tide of emotion initiated by the American public’s response to the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

The savage treatment of Mr Floyd by police officers was screened all over the world and has brought people onto the streets to protest against the inequalities that exist in our society.

Most of the demonstrations have been peaceful but some have involved clashes and the toppling of statues including that of slave trader, Edward Colston, in Bristol. Other statues have been taken down before they came under attack.

The statue of Sir Winston Churchill in Parliament Square was temporarily boarded up to protect it from protestors and may have to be moved to a museum to ensure its protection.

I completely agree with the protestors that Black Lives Matter. My worry is that by tearing down statues, we are doing nothing to change the social structures of the present day which give rise to the inequalities that we deplore.

How much history is safe? Should the pyramids be demolished because the Ancient Egyptians mistreated their workers? What about the barbarism that went on inside medieval castles? As for Sir Winston Churchill, weren’t we celebrating the unifying influence he had on this country on the 75th anniversary of VE Day just three months ago?

There is a danger of falling into denial here. These were all people of their own times. The society that we must focus on improving is this one – right here and now.

Let’s make good use of the lessons learned from the pandemic and from the response to the death of George Floyd by ensuring that we build a better and more caring world for future generations, free from racism in any of its forms.