Of the many words to be associated with our pandemic predicament, there is one we could do something about, but probably won't. That word is inequality. Even when not explicitly quoted, it shouts as if written in medieval illuminated gold and silver script.
Back in February, in the days when we thought Covid-19 was a nightmare for faraway places, largely out of sight and out of mind, the Marmot Review 10 Years On was published.
It referred only to England, but common sense tells us that it had relevance to the whole of the British Isles and perhaps much of Northern Europe and the United States as well.
Its findings had some impact, but limited. Anyway, it was already far too late to do anything about the disease tsunami heading straight for us.
That review found, among many other disturbing findings, that existing in a deprived area of north-east England is worse for your health than being in a similarly deprived area in a rich city like London, to the extent that life expectancy is nearly five years lower.
The north-east is the area of England where the Government finds it needs to spend the most money per head of population.
As of December, the figure is £10,183 for the north-east, required because it is not a rich place.
The figure for the much richer south-east is £8,601. The figure for Northern Ireland is £11,590, the highest in the kingdom.
You can draw your own conclusions, but I believe it is reasonable to assume, therefore, that the findings of the Marmot Review can be applied to the remaining parts of the UK, including Northern Ireland. In short, as a community, Northern Ireland is likely to be more in the line of fire.
But within our community some are more unequal than others. The poorest are experiencing a higher risk of exposure to coronavirus and their existing poor health exposes them to more severe outcomes if they contract the virus.
The Health Foundation is an independent charity to promote better health and care for the whole of the UK. It is a rich organisation, funded by an endowment of around £1bn and it is fiercely independent as a consequence.
Earlier this month, it published a report about the pandemic and health inequalities. It makes a number of important points which many will believe immediately from their everyday experience.
For example, of those who died in March, 91% had at least one pre-existing condition.
I confess to having an interest in age-related concerns and note the Health Foundation reports thus: "... it would be wrong to see the often cited 'underlying health conditions' as being solely age-related.
"The risk of developing a long-term health condition, or multiple long-term conditions, is strongly patterned by where you live and your level of deprivation."
We already suspected that living on the Gold Coast was better all round than residing on Railway Cuttings, but are we as a society yet ready to do something substantial about that?
What we are having to do, in the meantime, is exacerbating the inequality problem. It is not just the direct threat virus itself. It's lockdown.
The Government response, while saving lives in the short term, is hammering those already hammered. Many families are really struggling financially.
The Foundation states: "Those on low wages are seven times as likely as high-earners to have worked in a sector that has been shut down.
"This insecurity can be expected to have immediate impact on the mental health of those affected. The response is also contributing to an increase in food insecurity."
What of the future? Unless there is a fundamental change in general attitude, it is clear disaster will heap upon disaster.
The most vulnerable are going to need more help than ever - long-term. However, the country rose to such a challenge in the past when it created the NHS.
It was the work of Aneurin Bevan, health minister in 1945. Bevan created a health service based on four principles: free at the point of use, available to everyone who needed it, paid for out of general taxation and used responsibly. It was a revolution and I think I'm alive today because of that achievement.
Now we need another advance, even revolution, based on more Government spending upon prevention, more resources for those so far under-valued, more money for the charities doing the work Government has withdrawn from, more on social housing.
In other words, attack inequality ferociously for all our sakes. But will that happen in the recession that must surely follow?
We need another visionary like Bevan, because there wasn't much in the public coffers after the Second World War either.
Don Anderson is a writer and broadcaster