One of the big questions going forward is what will the new normal look like?

Very different from the old, that is for certain.

Without the vaccines to get us out of the pandemic, the new normal would have been a series of lockdowns, interspersed with periods when some controls were relaxed.

The vaccines offer the path to a new world.

Work patterns seem sure to change, with no one quite sure how many workers will return to their offices. Many are expected to split their time between home working and the office.

The Greater London Authority has modelled three scenarios, one for the return of 80 per cent and two for the return of 40 per cent of office workers to central London.

There seems to be a split between those who like home working, those who can’t wait to get back to the office and those who want a better life balance between the two.

Some sort of a hollowing out of the centre of London does seem likely, with a commensurate loss of service sector jobs to match.

Areas on the periphery, like Wanstead, could boom with the work from home culture being well served.

The high street is also likely to be a radically changed place with a big switch to online shopping over the pandemic.

Over the past year, a million-plus people have left London - many migrant workers employed in the service sector, who don’t have the work anymore.

This trend, combined with a hollowing out of the centre, has real implications for housing and transport infrastructure in the future.

Transport has changed dramatically over the period of the pandemic. Cycling and walking have been encouraged, with matching new infrastructure. These gains in the direction of active travel must be built upon.

The important thing moving forward is to plan on the basis of a radically changed post-pandemic world, not set according to how things were before but how they are now.

Life has radically changed for most people and it is important to build upon the positive elements as well as seeking out new more innovative ways of living.

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