The impact of COVID-19 has been substantial, tragic, and disruptive. It has also been revealing. The last year has been a visceral reminder that a healthy economy requires a healthy population. The willingness of governments to implement policies that save lives at considerable short term cost to gross domestic product (GDP) has also shown just how much society values health. Given how the mortality risk of COVID-19 rises with age it has been particularly revealing about ageing and health. Because many of the lives saved through economic lockdowns were older ones, it has shown how much society values older people.