One year since the first national lockdown was announced across the UK, most of us will be spending time reflecting on what life has been like over the last year. Today will be emotional for many people and their families for a variety of reasons. Separation and loss of loved ones, being unable to see friends and work colleagues and adaption to strict social distancing rules to keep ourselves safe, society safe and to protect the NHS have impacted on everyone, but not more so than those who are poorest, sickest and frailest. What the pandemic has shown many of us is the importance of families, of the care that happens within, and the importance of relationships. Many families will have found new strengths and value in being together and sharing their work, learning and care.
For many nurses, midwives, health visitors, and other healthcare professionals working through the pandemic, they also know that they and their families are potentially at risk from COVID-19. But it shows the dedication and commitment nurses have not just to care for their own families, but also those of others. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but need to continue to prioritise our most vulnerable as this is a measure of the society we live in. We need to take stock and begin planning for a better future where care, compassion and putting others first is top of the agenda.