Guest blog - Mike Maier - National Day of Reflection
Today marks one year since we first went into lockdown as a nation in response to the Covid-19 virus. Up and down the country people will be pausing at noon today to reflect on the past year, the lives lost, the lives changed, and the huge national effort that has helped us to respond to the first worldwide pandemic this century.
A year ago, words and phrases like ‘lockdown’, ‘social distancing’, and ‘outbreaks’ were not commonly used in everyday language, face masks weren’t worn every time we stepped out of our front door, and we celebrated being together socially - rather than avoiding it to protect the ones we love, our friends, neighbours and wider society.
It is difficult to measure the impact the last year has had on us all, but what I can say with certainty is that the NHS, social care colleagues, the third sector and countless volunteers and ‘good neighbours’ nationwide have responded with admirable courage, commitment and compassion that makes me feel very humble and very proud to be the chair of an NHS trust during this time.
I would urge everyone to take a moment at 12 noon, or at another time today that is convenient for you, to pause for a minute’s silence to reflect on the last year. For those who have lost loved ones, friends, colleagues or neighbours; take time to remember them.
Take time to acknowledge the stresses and strains of the last year, but also to be proud of all the positive contributions – both the big and the little acts of kindness, as they have all contributed to keeping people safe and to maintaining people’s sense of wellbeing.
We marked some of these big and little acts of kindness, courage and innovation with our Little Book of Covid Best Practice (insert link), which I would commend to anyone as an inspirational read. Our fabulous team have also successfully run a staff vaccination hub at Churton House, followed by setting up and running a mass vaccination site at Chester Racecourse in partnership with a range of wonderful volunteers. These efforts have shown just what is possible when we work in partnership to improve population health and have contributed to over half of the adult population in Cheshire and Merseyside having already received their first covid vaccination. A remarkable achievement.
So as you take time to reflect today, please do so in the knowledge that your efforts are hugely appreciated and that, whatever challenges lie ahead of us, we will face them together in the knowledge that great things have been achieved during the last year in the face of adversity.
Thank you for all that you do.