Leeds should be proud of city's resolve - one year on from first Covid-19 lockdown - Laura Collins, YEP Editor
It was a simple instruction but one that would have a profound impact on each of us.
In a sombre message, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson took to the nation’s airwaves to issue a stark warning about the severe threat posed by the pandemic.
It was a powerful address that crystallized the looming spectre of the silent assassin facing all of us.
His directive was clear: “From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction - you must stay at home.”
More than 365 days later our city and our daily lives are still impacted by the grips of Covid as its long-lasting impact and ripples continue to be felt today.
And throughout it all, the Yorkshire Evening Post has been there every single step of the way documenting this once-in-a-generation crisis.
From the start of the outbreak - as the city’s streets fell eerily silent - we pledged on our front page that we would be #ThereWithYou and it is a promise we’ve stood by.
Our reporters have documented the daily infection rates in our city and tracked the daily death toll.
These aren’t statistics - they are families and loved ones who have lost someone close to them to Covid and we’ve had the honour of being able to tell their stories at a time when they struggled to say their final farewell.
We’ve featured hundreds of pictures of health workers as we’ve celebrated the courage shown by our city’s frontline heroes during the darkest of days.
And our team has told the stories of our inspirational communities who have come together in a way like never before to support their neighbours when they needed help the most.
For our great city of Leeds this is a story of resilience in the face of adversity and the fighting spirit to battle on.
Over the last few months, we have witnessed the incredible speed at which vaccinations have been rolled out across the city.
And this gives us all hope that, very soon, there will be better times ahead as we gradually emerge from the current national lockdown.
We know just how difficult this time has been for the independent businesses in our city centre - and we will be right there alongside them to show our support when it is safe for them to reopen once more.
But we must do so with caution as the great sleeping giant that is Leeds looks set to emerge from its lengthy hibernation.
We are proud of our city’s resolve and determination through this difficult period as all of our lives changed around us on that fateful day of March 23, 2020.
And now, one year on from that announcement, we continue to dig deep and find the strength and courage to continue and ensure that what we have endured over the last year was simply not in vain.
* See today's Yorkshire Evening Post for our special 16 page supplement charting life in Leeds over the last year.
A message from the Editor:
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