Kate writes a bi-weekly column for the Burton Mail. This column was originally featured in the 11th March print edition.
“From this evening, I must give the British people a very simple instruction: you must stay at home.”
- Prime Minister, The Rt. Hon Boris Johnson MP
They were the words the Prime Minister spoke on the 23rd March 2020. One year on, no one could have predicted what was to follow and just how much the Coronavirus pandemic has turned our lives and our way of life upside down.
On Tuesday, the whole country joined in a minute’s silence as part of a day of reflection following the anniversary of lockdown. Each of us have made huge sacrifices and been unable to see family and friends out of necessity to stop the spread of this terrible virus and to protect the vulnerable. Sadly, the virus has taken many lives and many of us have lost loved ones before their time. This grief is shared, and we must all continue to support one another and harness the spirit we have seen throughout the pandemic of the community coming and working together.
Tuesday also gave us another opportunity to reflect and be thankful for the incredible efforts of all our keyworkers and the NHS for caring for our loved ones and keeping our country moving. It is because of the efforts of each and every one of our healthcare staff that so many more people have recovered from coronavirus and millions more are now receiving protection through inoculation.
The vaccine rollout programme, a key part of our exit plan from the pandemic, is seeing incredible results. Last weekend, we reached the incredible milestone of 30 million people receiving their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, that is more than half of the UK adult population. And this is having a real impact on the data that we see, with new infections stabilising and with the number of hospitalisations and deaths continuing to fall.
This, coupled with the Prime Minister’s cautious exit strategy, means that we must do all we can to ensure that this is the last lockdown and we can begin to move forward and to recover from this pandemic. However, we must not forget the huge sacrifices we have all made these past 12 months and we all should take time to reflect.