Today is the second anniversary of the first Covid lockdown in the UK.
When Boris Johnson announced at 8pm, two years ago some of the harshest restrictions of travel, contact with people, ability to shop, and enforcement of masks etc. It was for the majority of the country the hardest-hitting government intervention they would have seen in their lifetime.
I remember the morning of the 24th, it was eerie, no cars, no people walking outside, no car noise or planes overhead, the normal hustle and bustle outside of our house which is on the main road was gone.
When people started to venture out, everyone started panic buying the shelves were quite empty, the petrol stations sold out, even though everyone had no place to go. Toilet paper was being sold on the internet for £10 a roll.
Within a month the realisation was setting in that holidays were not going to be possible in 2020, that we couldn't see loved ones in nursing homes. That education would have to be done from the kitchen table and not the classroom - we also heard the rumblings that a vaccine was being worked on by various groups, brilliant minds from around the world.
By the end of June, I still didn't know a friend or relative who had contracted covid, I must admit to thinking is this all made up, a Government exercise in social control, but sadly my theory was proved wrong. each week that went by after the summer, I heard of someone I knew who contracted covid and the first death of a friend happened in my case in November that year.
I did appreciate the Governments response to supporting those made unemployed, or those who were self-employed, the UK has the clout to be able to borrow £372 billion pounds to fight the virus. Yet no amount of money can replace the loss suffered by those whose loved ones died and they never got to say goodbye.
There was then the hope of a couple of vaccines (Moderna and Astra Zenica) for the rest of us, as covid itself started to mutate into the new Delta variant. The conspiracy theorists all felt it might be a mind-control drug, it mind make you infertile, it might, it might, it might.
The public swayed toward the vaccines and as the spread of covid surged every four months or so, the vaccines started to tame the beast, at least to make the virus less life threatening than before.
Once the second vaccine and booster had been taken up by the majority of the public, the public's attention turned to holidays, spending the money they had saved in not doing things, restaurants were full again, so currently are flights, trains, and Churches.
Yet life will never go back to the old normal. A new normal now exists where everyone knows about zoom, demand for only shopping is huge, much less cash is floating around as people perceive it to be a covid carrier.
There was always a debate about letting covid rip through society in the early days to get herd immunity, something some countries did and the UK didn't, but as we abandon all restrictions for covid just after two years of living with it, the sad fact is every country, society, street, family, and friend knows someone by now who's life was lost to this terrible plague we found ourselves living through.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the 164,000 who lost their lives to Covid in the last two years.
I'll be lighting three candles at 8pm, for the three friends I lost in the last two years.