Lockdown one year on: Marie Curie leads national day of reflection

Today marks one year on since the UK first went into lockdown and in a bid to unite the nation, end of life charity Marie Curie is leading a day of reflection.

The National Day of Reflection is a chance to remember those who have died from any cause during the pandemic, and to show solidarity for millions who have been unable to grieve together throughout the past year.

There is a nationwide minute’s silence at midday to allow people can reflect on those who have died and support the millions of people who are bereaved.

Later tonight, the nation is being encouraged to stand on their doorsteps at 8pm with candles, torches or using the light on a phone, to share a beacon of support.

More than 110 iconic buildings and landmarks around the country will be lit up yellow, including Tate Modern, Blackpool Tower, Winchester Cathedral, Belfast City Hall, The Kelpies, Cardiff Castle, and Caernarfon Castle.

Research from Marie Curie shows 46% of the UK have known someone personally who has died during the last year and 56% of those agree they have not had the chance to grieve fully, as they would have wanted to. 

Today is a poignant moment for many around the country and a lot of people feel they won’t be able to fully understand the emotional impact of the pandemic until it’s over.

The feeling of togetherness during the global pandemic has also been seen, with 58% of the UK admitting to being affected by hearing about the death of people they do not know, and a collective pain being felt by many across the country. 

For everyone in the UK, today will also provide an opportunity to reflect on how the pandemic has brought people together as a nation and how they can support each other through the grief. 

There have been more than 698,734 UK deaths in the last year, over 145,344 of which have been COVID-19 related, meaning an estimated 6.3 million people have been bereaved.

 Total deaths (of any cause) since w/e 27 March 2020 to w/e 5 March 2021:Estimated number of bereaved[a] (Total deaths since w/e 27 March 2020 to w/e 5 March 2021 x 9):
Northern Ireland17,547157,923
UK total698,7346,288,606
Data from Office for National Statistics (ONS)

Marie Curie is also asking people across the UK to use the day of reflection to take a moment to reach out to someone who is grieving, either by having a chat, sending a card, a message or by giving someone spring flowers, to show them that you care.

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