Time for reflection but public inquiry into pandemic should not be delayed - The Yorkshire Post says

On this day one year ago readers picked up The Yorkshire Post to a front page headline of ‘Lockdown’, probably still struggling to process what the Prime Minister had told them just a few hours previously in his unprecedented evening address.

Twelve months on, the nation yesterday paused to reflect on the grief and hardship that has followed with a minute’s silence to remember the 126,000 people who have died in the UK after contracting coronavirus.

It has been an extraordinary year, which has left streets and offices deserted and loved ones kept apart from each other for months on end.

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The region’s experiences during this time have been captured by The Yorkshire Post’s photographers, with some of their most memorable images republished today in a 16-page supplement that serves as a reminder of a period in time never to be forgotten - and hopefully never to be repeated.

Chief Spiritual Adviser Mia Hilborn at St Thomas' Hospital (centre) stands with NHS England Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens (left) and Guys and St Thomas' NHS Trust Chief Executive and Chief Medical Officer Dr Ian Abbs (right) during a ceremony to observe a minute's silence at the central London hospital during the National Day of Reflection on the anniversary of the first national lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Picture: PA/Jonathan Brady.

This publication is again calling for a full public inquiry into the handling of the pandemic to be set up urgently.

Justified positivity about the vaccination programme does not negate the UK’s ghastly death count - the current highest in Europe and one of the worst in the world.

In too many instances, such investigations have in other circumstances - the continuing Infected Blood Inquiry is one example - taken place years after the traumatic events first occurred, leaving mourners to feel discounted, and the chance for lessons to be learned squandered.

That must not happen this time - not for the sake of saving blushes.

Delaying an inquiry would be an insult to all those grieving the loss of family and dear friends - the loved ones of more than 8,600 people who have died in Yorkshire alone after catching coronavirus - along with the rest who have sacrificed so much basic liberty to help curb this insidious contagion.