Lewes District Council deputy leader reflects on a year since the first lockdown

As the nation marks one year since the first lockdown was announced, the deputy leader of Lewes District Council, Zoe Nicholson, reflects on how our lives have changed.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 11:03 am
Councillor Zoe Nicholson, deputy leader of the council

“It’s been a year since the first lockdown and we are now entering the phased road map out of everyday restrictions.

“As the days get longer and the sense of spring really begins to feel real, there is an energy in our community that is reflected in nature, a sense of relief that that the dark, long days are over.

“The fullness of our lives can perhaps begin again, because of the brilliant work of our NHS rolling out the vaccine across the district and the country, the hard work of the scientists who developed it, and all of us who played a part in reducing contact and following the guidelines.

“Yet with the sense of new beginnings that every spring brings, I was reminded yesterday in conversation with a friend of what we have lost and continue to lose.

“A year ago the national death rate from Covid19 was just under a 100 per day.

“At the time that felt shocking, so let us not forget that that only six weeks ago it was as much as ten times that per day.

“Yesterday the national death rate was 33 and our district is now among the lowest areas in the country for the number of new cases.

“So yes, we can breathe a sigh of relief as our children return to school and college.

“But it’s bittersweet.

“Our children and young people have lost precious time with friends and many, including my own daughter, feel cheated from lost learning time.

“We might moan about cancelled holidays, walks with friends, trips away, but maybe that’s a way of dulling the pain of the unnecessary huge loss of life, all the deaths of frontline workers, the long absence from loved ones who are in care homes, the lonely deaths and funerals.

“Then there is the financial impact of the health crisis on our livelihoods and we do need to be clear that whilst the virus may strike equally, it’s impact on people’s lives is not equal.

“With all this loss comes questions and we should all be asking some very big questions.

“Alongside many others I will be supporting the call for a public enquiry so that all that loss is not in vain.”