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  • lights have shown around the UK tonight in memory of all those who have lost their lives in the past year.

  • Buildings were lit up and people went on to their doorsteps with candles and torches for a moment of reflection.

  • On this, the first anniversary of national lockdown, the prime minister thanked people for their courage, discipline and patience over the past 12 months, but admitted there were things he wished.

  • In retrospect, the government had done differently in the early handling of the pandemic.

  • The day of reflection began with a minute's silence at midday.

  • Here's our political editor, Laura Coons Berg.

  • Her report contains flashing images.

  • Time to stop to remember that harsh first spring time to reflect mhm to contemplate that strange summer time to pay tribute.

  • Two lives lost as autumn turned time to mourn those absent.

  • Now the slow passing of the seasons.

  • Our year long journey through danger.

  • Now the disease still among us.

  • A second spring remembrance in the Cabinet room where so many of the decisions were taken to then the trio still at the lecterns.

  • When I asked you to go into lockdown exactly a year ago, it seemed incredible that in the 21st century this was the only way to fight a new respiratory disease.

  • This was unlike any other struggle in my lifetime in that our entire population has been engaged.

  • And it's thanks to all of you, therefore, that we can continue on our road map to freedom.

  • So much of our routine disappeared indoors.

  • The outside world became a still life, we observed.

  • And for more than 100,000 families, it won't be the same again.

  • When Dean fell ill last March, he and his close family suspected it might be this new, strange disease.

  • He had diabetes, but on the 18th of March, he had a sore throat.

  • He was taken to hospital on the 30th of March.

  • His sons weren't worried too much.

  • I'm Oliver and I'm 12 years old.

  • I'm William and I'm 15 years old.

  • But on the third of April there Dad passed away.

  • He was about to turn 52.

  • I can't remember the last time I saw him because before, because he was when he was ill, he was laying on the couch and I was in the room playing games as normal.

  • He walked out the door, and we didn't.

  • We just thought I would be back in a couple of days.

  • We didn't know he was going under into a coma or whatever.

  • We just we just thought I'll be back in a couple of days and obviously so that was the last time we ever saw him when he was being wheeled out.

  • As much as sometimes people say that heals with time, just not sure that's true at the moment.

  • The virus has affected this family in other ways, too.

  • Work dried up for Dean's niece and his sister, Debbie has had to work and grieve at home.

  • It's the first time I've really heard them talk about it.

  • Um, I mean, my heart breaks for them as much as they need us.

  • We're there.

  • And as soon as we can actually get together, they're going to get hugged whether they like it or not.

  • Oliver, after so much sacrifice today, was marked in many ways simple spring flowers from the queen to doctors and nurses at a London hospital, quiet and distant in the Commons, silent respect in Cardiff, in Belfast to and in Edinburgh.

  • I know I will never be able to adequately express the depth of my gratitude for all the sacrifices that have been made by so many.

  • But opposition leaders also wonder about government regrets.

  • We owe both the NHS staff and those on the front line and all the families of those that have died to learn the lessons of the last 12 months to have an inquiry and to learn what went wrong to make sure that we never repeat that.

  • But in number 10, any reflection yet, if there's one thing you wish you'd done differently in the last year, what would it be?

  • There are probably many things that we wished that we'd known and many things that we wished that we'd done differently at the time.

  • In in retrospect, because we were fighting a novel disease, the single biggest false assumption that we made it was about the potential for asymptomatic transmission.

  • The one thing that I think would have been really important earlier on is to have much better data on what was happening, and that would have required testing to be up and ready immediately, and it would have required the ability to get that information There was and is still so much that we just don't know song and light tonight around the country as the skies darkened symbols of what's been lost and what's to come.

  • And after a year of pressure behind the country's doors behind that door.

  • A moment, perhaps, to share, maybe to ease the hurt and hold the memory instead, Yeah, yes.

  • Mhm, Sophie.

  • It feels almost eerie to be standing here in exactly the same spot.

  • When, exactly a year ago, we were reporting the prime minister's almost unbelievable instruction to the country to sit today at home, so much has gone wrong.

  • Since then, there's been so much pain for thousands of families.

  • But one big thing, of course, has gone right.

  • The vaccine rollout in this country, of course.

  • But in Westminster tonight, there are some raised eyebrows over what the prime minister said privately to a group of his own MPs tonight.

  • When those in the room tell me that, he said the success of the vaccine program was down to greed.

  • Number 10 didn't want to comment about this, but I'm told that the prime minister almost immediately withdrew those remarks.

  • He repeatedly went on to praise the company.

  • AstraZeneca who made the vaccine repeatedly pointing out that they haven't been making money off doing this and also even taking to MPs Basically Oh, please forget I said that it was some kind of misunderstanding.

  • But at the same time, just at the moment when politicians publicly, at least on both sides of the channel, are trying to hold nerves steady on the vaccine, it's not the kind of comments they're gonna make that any easier.

  • Laura Ginsberg in Westminster Thank you Well, the UK has seen one of the highest coronavirus death tolls in the world.

  • But this morning there was encouraging news from the Office for National Statistics.

  • The number of weekly deaths from all causes has fallen below the five year average for the first time since last August.

  • Our health editor, Hugh Pym, has been looking at the numbers and some of the challenges ahead.

  • The shadow of Covid lingers in every community, the lives lost and livelihoods threatened.

  • And now, a year on, there is increasing understanding of the scale of the impact compared to what was first predicted.

  • With the virus proving far more deadly, health think tank has calculated that on average, those who died with Covid lost up to 10 years of their lives.

  • That's based on life expectancy estimates how long they might have lived.

  • In total, 1.5 million years of life have been lost in the U.

  • K.

  • Because of covid.

  • By comparison, in a bad winter, 250,000 years are lost because of flu and pneumonia.

  • It is a devastating bomb shell that hit Britain as it hit many other countries.

  • Our loss has been much greater, and our loss has been compounded by the underlying health of the population and the disparities between different groups, which Covid has shown most starkly.

  • But numbers are now falling.

  • This line shows the five year weekly average for deaths from all causes, and this shows what's happened since January last year.

  • There was a big spike above the average in April, mainly because of covid deaths shown in red, then another surge from last autumn.

  • But now U K deaths have fallen back below the average for the first time since last summer.

  • The vaccination program is protecting more people from serious illness and reducing the risk of dying with covid.

  • But some who have had the virus are still carrying a heavy burden.

  • Come on, Tom.

  • It's a life.

  • But it is not like the life that I was living before.

  • In fact, it's completely different.

  • Tom used to run marathons, but Covid stopped him in his tracks.

  • A year ago this month.

  • He went down with the virus, thought he was recovering, but then couldn't shake off some alarming symptoms.

  • It was probably most frightening thing I've ever experienced.

  • Um, it felt like my body had been hijacked by the virus, and I didn't understand what was happening, and no doctor could explain it to me, either.

  • Tom has long covid and says he and many others are still struggling.

  • There's a real lack of recognition of the scale of the problem with long cover.

  • Given that we're just out of the second wave, it's really likely to grow over the coming months.

  • And there was a warning today that the virus wouldn't fade away completely.

  • I think the chances of eradicating this disease, which means getting rid of it absolutely everywhere, are as close to zero as makes no difference.

  • We've only achieved eradication of one disease, which is small box with a phenomenally effective vaccine over a very, very long period of time.

  • The hope is that coronavirus can be kept in check with low levels of hospital cases.

  • But the NHS has a backlog of operations and procedures postponed because of covid, so the impact of the virus will be felt for some time yet.

  • Hugh Pym, BBC News.

  • Our medical editor, Fergus Walsh, is with me interesting hearing the scientists, reflecting on what they wished they had known a year ago and also what has changed.

  • A year ago, we didn't know that one in three people with Covid have no symptoms, and that knowledge has informed a lot of public policy like the wearing of face masks.

  • A year ago, community testing had been abandoned.

  • There was only capacity to do 10,000 covid tests a day.

  • Now we can do over a million tests a day, much easier to keep track of outbreaks.

  • The game changer has been vaccines not one, but several highly effective vaccines.

  • Now we don't know how long vaccine protection is going to last.

  • It's only 11 months since the first trial started in Europe.

  • They will wane at some point.

  • Then there's this issue of virus mutation.

  • So far, it looks like the current vaccines will protect against severe disease from the virus variants but may not stop infection.

  • So we may need booster vaccines in the autumn.

  • But scientists are working on those.

  • What's clear is coronavirus is here to stay and we will see outbreaks like we do with flu.

  • But flu doesn't stop society.

  • And now it is vaccination, which is the root out of the pandemic here in the UK But that also means immunizing Europe and the world.

  • Thank you.

lights have shown around the UK tonight in memory of all those who have lost their lives in the past year.

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/03/24
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