With the official death toll from the disease standing more than 126,000 lost lives, and the majority of lockdown restrictions still in place, the tragedies we have faced, and the challenges that continue, remain at the forefront of people’s minds.
Yet there can be increasing optimism that brighter days lie ahead, with the successful vaccine rollout contributing to substantial falls in Covid deaths and hospitalisations and the timetable for the gradual easing of restrictions on our day-to-day lives still on course to be met.
There have been many trials, tribulations and tests along the way since the beginning of the pandemic, but this Easter weekend represents a chance to reflect on how people have pulled together by staying apart.
As the Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell reflects in the pages of this newspaper today, the past 12 months have been both a year of isolation and a demonstration of love as people have kept themselves at a physical distance from their loved ones, often at considerable personal cost.
“We have laid down our freedoms for the greater good of saving others,” the Archbishop writes so wisely. “As we, at last, move forward into what we all hope will be a better world, there is a new reality and a new hope when we think more carefully about the sort of world that we want to build.”
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