Time for reflection
I write this editorial on the anniversary of the UK's first lockdown. It is scarcely believable to look back at that day, when we thought we'd be entering a short, sharp lockdown period, and that life would go back to normal in a few weeks. Yet, here we are, coming out of our third national lockdown, with glimmers of hope that this might be the last time. At the end of a truly unimaginable year, it is time to reflect.
Over 126 000 people have died with COVID-19 in the UK so far, and 126 000 families have had to navigate their grief and loss without their usual support structures, as the four nations have remained in various degrees of restrictions all year. Many people, regardless of whether they have lost loved ones, have reported struggling with mental health issues, as our lives have been turned upside down.
Government figures show that approximately 1 in 10 people with COVID-19 continue to experience symptoms beyond 12 weeks (Department of Health and Social Care, 2021). Helping people to manage this condition will be something that needs to be focused on after the acute wave of infections has been dealt with, and £18.5 million of funding has been given to research the causes and potential treatments of ‘long-COVID’.
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