When the World Health Organisation declared Covid-19 a pandemic one year ago, the shocking images from hospitals in Italy gave us all a sense of foreboding but the true impact in England had yet to reveal itself with only a handful of deaths having been recorded.
In the intervening 12 months we have endured two waves of Covid, three lockdowns and suffered a huge toll in terms of deaths, long-term illness and mental health.
The care sector suffered the worst with vulnerable, elderly care home residents accounting for one third of the UK’s 125,000 death toll.
The impact on so many businesses has been just as stark with the UK taking the biggest economic shock for 300 years.
However, what sustained spirits through the darkest times has been the community spirit that shone through. Everyone remembers the simple acts of human kindness by so many ordinary people.
Now, fortunately, we are standing at the threshold of a return to more normal life in our care homes and the wider community.
Heart-warming photographs of care homes’ first hand-holding visits since the start of the lockdown embody our future hopes.
With the rapid success of vaccines and the arrival of summer we can all believe the end of this terrible trial is in sight.
And we know from the magnificent way our care home staff have responded that we will all come through this stronger.
The pandemic has also been a catalyst for reshaping so many aspects of our working and social life, ultimately for the better.
Necessity has brought new forms of communication to the fore, new flexible ways of working, less reliance on road and air transport, time to reflect on the values we should hold as important.
Scientists’ amazing work on the vaccines is likely to spill over into further important medical advances.
Yes. a year on, it’s time to take stock of what has happened but to be positive for the future.
Thank you to everyone who has come together and shown such kindness to others.
The rebuilding processes have just begun. We at Kingsley will be proud to play our part.
Author: Stephen Pullinger