The world is rapidly changing as a result of the impact of the coronavirus.

Two recent news headlines gave an indication how much. One declared how "One in seven Londoners want to leave the city because of coronavirus," the other, how "Outer London high streets are bouncing back faster from coronavirus".

People are not returning to city centres due to a combination of factors, with probably fear of the virus at the top of the list.

They are, however, increasingly working from home, shopping and socialising locally.

Read more: Outer London high streets recovering faster from coronavirus

So outer London areas like East Ham, Ealing and Southall have seen boosts in shopping and people attending restaurants.

The move toward working from home has been increasing over recent years, the pandemic has had the effect of accelerating that process. If people can work from home, then home can be anywhere, so the move to out of town and rural areas will increase.

In terms of transport, the active travel concept, which promotes cycling and walking, is moving ahead, with new cycle routes and walkways being laid out across the country.

If these changes result in a real modal shift in means of travel it should also lead to a fitter, healthier population.

The downside on travel is the reduction in the use of public transport while car use increases. This development needs reversing if the crisis of climate change is to be overcome.

Air travel has been hit, with passenger numbers hugely down. Unless governments step in to shore up the airline industry it cannot sustain at pre-pandemic levels. A world of fewer and more costly flights beckons.

Some of the developments in the airline industry have mirrored what has been going on elsewhere, with a lot of workers losing their jobs.

The sort of huge changes seen as a result of the pandemic are bound to see changes in how we work and play. However, there are no doubt some unscrupulous employers using the crisis as an opportunity to cut staff. In some cases, they will seek to re-employ the same staff on worse terms and conditions.

Equally bad employers may use home working as another way to transfer costs onto employees.

These are the sort of developments that must be guarded against, with the role of trade unions in protecting workers' rights crucial in the circumstances.

What is for sure is that times they are changing - in some ways for good but others for ill. Perversely, the longer the pandemic lasts, the greater and more irreversible the changes will be. The chances to return to how things were pre-pandemic recede with each passing day.

One day the pandemic will disappear, then the question will be just what sort of a brave new world has been created.

  • Paul Donovan is a Redbridge Labour councillor for Wanstead village and blogger. See