Millions in Britain have struggled for years. Only in a pandemic are they seen | Frances Ryan

Going back to ‘normal’ after coronavirus for many people means back to a rigged and grinding system

Around eight years ago, I interviewed a man planning to live off biscuits. The coalition government’s “welfare reforms” were about to come into effect and, like many, he knew it meant his meagre benefits were about to get smaller. For him, that meant letting go the woman who came in each day to help him cook. His disability left him unable to use the oven and his benefits wouldn’t stretch to ready meals or pre-prepared veg. Sat in his wheelchair, he calculated that he could feed himself each day with packets of biscuits. I remember the conversation not only for its injustice, but his outlook – a kind of matter of fact acceptance of a system that was content to starve him.

As we mourn the deaths from coronavirus, we may want to consider how exactly we should live

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