It has been twelve months since the UK entered its first lockdown, and many are now reflecting on the first year of COVID-19.

There have been numerous lockdowns. In fact, it has been tough to keep count of the number of times isolation regulation has been implemented. Nonetheless, it has been a whole year since the first lockdown measures were introduced.

On 23 March 2020, Boris Johnson informed the nation that the UK would be entering a mandatory lockdown. Back then cases were rising and the death toll stood at 364 people. There have now been 126,172 deaths because of the virus.

What was said?

Announcing the first lockdown, Johnson stated:

“Each and every one of us is now obliged to join together, to halt the spread of this disease, to protect our NHS and to save many, many thousands of lives.”

“And I know that as they have in the past so many times, the people of this country will rise to that challenge, and we will come through it stronger than ever.”

“We will beat the coronavirus and we will beat it together.”

Despite the optimism expressed by the Prime Minister, the number of cases and fatalities rose sharply. On top of that, the government had internal issues throughout the year.

Government conflicts

Since then, the British government faced issues securing PPE as well as accusations of jobs given to peers rather than best-suited providers.

There was also controversy when former Chief Adviser to the Prime Minister, Dominic Cummings, traversed the country during a strict lockdown.

Going forward, there are also concerns about getting the components required for more vaccinations from Europe. This is a significant concern as the vaccination programme has been one of the government’s greatest successes.

Boris Johnson Offers Thoughts

Boris Johnson has now reflected on the last year. The Prime Minister addressed the nation:

“The last 12 months has taken a huge toll on us all, and I offer my sincere condolences to those who have lost loved ones.”

“Today, the anniversary of the first lockdown is an opportunity to reflect on the past year – one of the most difficult in our country’s history.”

“We should also remember the great spirit shown by our nation over this past year. We have all played our part, whether it’s working on the front line as a nurse or carer, working on vaccine development and supply, helping to get that jab into arms, home-schooling your children, or just by staying at home to prevent the spread of the virus.

“It’s because of every person in this country that lives have been saved, our NHS was protected, and we have started on our cautious road to easing restrictions once and for all.”

Let’s hope that there isn’t a second anniversary. 

Image via Alamy