Covid one year on in Lancashire: Twelve months that have changed us all
Twelve months ago today, which of us would have thought that a year later we would still be in lockdown?
But apart from a few blessed months in the summer of 2020, that is exactly what happened.
When the Prime Minister announced that from one minute past midnight on March 23, we must Stay at Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives, we embraced it.
The streets were empty, we queued for our supermarket shop once a week and we went out onto our doorsteps on Thursday to thank those who couldn’t stay at home - our key workers.
And it wasn’t just the NHS we were thanking. In the past 12 months, we have realised just how much we rely on a whole host of other folk, many of whom are unsung heroes.
Supermarket staff, care workers, bus and train drivers, teachers, the HGV drivers who deliver our food...plus many more, We now appreciate them so much more.
And we also appreciate the small things in life - the things we simply have not been able to do for most of the past year.
From meeting up with family and friends, being able to go to a football match, to a pint in the pub or a meal in a restaurant, all of these small things have become a part of our post-lockdown wishlists.
And most of us, we miss the hugs of our nearest and dearest. The people we don’t live with, but whose company we have missed the most.
We have learned a whole new vocabulary in the past year.
Who can say that they knew what furlough was before March 2020 or ‘covidiots,’ or that they would regularly use the words ‘social-distancing’, hand sanitiser,’ ‘pandemic’ and ‘bubbles’ so much?
Life has changed in so many ways since this time last year and for some of us it will never quite be the same again.
Because while lockdown for many of us has just been something to endure until we can be vaccinated and come out the other side, for those who have lost loved ones it is a time of huge sorrow and grief.
In the North West of England, more than 17,500 people have died of Covid-19. Each one of them had family and friends who will miss them forever.
So today, as we look back on 12 months of lockdown, we should remember them and keep them in our prayers.
You can read more from today's look back over the last 12 months here:
'Lets reflect on the impact on our city' says Preston Mayor on anniversary of Covid lockdown - read the full story hereA year of lockdown in Preston: A look back at the last 12 months in 30 pictures - look through our picture gallery hereCovid timeline: Key moments one year on since the UK’s first lockdown - Here is a reminder of some of the key moments since the UK was plunged into a national lockdownOne year on: 12 pictures celebrating the key workers and all of those who have gone the extra mile during lockdown - we say thank you to some of our lockdown heroes hereTen ways the coronavirus pandemic has changed society for good - read more