Today marks a year since the Prime Minister addressed the nation and announced the first lockdown. This past year has been and continues to be very difficult for many people and businesses across my constituency – and indeed across our country. Many people in our community have died or become seriously ill as a result of the Coronavirus – and my thoughts and prayers are with all those who have lost family or friends.
On the front-line of this crisis have been our brilliant NHS doctors and nurses along with social care professionals, the voluntary-sector and members of the emergency and social services. We all are in awe of their outstanding commitment and resolve over the course of this pandemic.
It has been a year like no other in several generations. However, as the days become longer and brighter, we can have greater hope and confidence that some sense of normality will return soon. A year ago, a Coronavirus vaccine might have seemed years away or even impossible. There were no guarantees. Now three vaccines have now been approved for use in the UK; the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine and the Moderna vaccine. As I write, over 27 million people have had their first vaccine. This is an incredible achievement.
The Prime Minister has announced a roadmap out of lockdown subject to all the tests being met. This would not have been possible without people checking their symptoms, getting tested and doing the right thing by isolating at home. Thank you, every sacrifice made has allowed us to reach this point. We may not be out of the storm yet but hope is on the horizon.