The eternal optimists among us are always quick to trot out their favourite phrases — “every cloud has a silver lining”, or that “it is an ill wind that blows nobody any good” at the first signs of trouble.

Given the reactions to the pandemic, they might be accused of clutching at straws to find any benefit in the mess that has ensued since the first signs of the Covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan — in what now feels to be a lifetime ago...

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