Reflections on those lost to COVID and hopes for a compassionate future

On Thursday’s National Day of Reflection (March 23) local people are being asked to reflect on the lives lost and the families grieving due to the COVID pandemic, and to look to a future where our communities continue to stand strong and look out for each other.

Dr Ed Garratt, chief executive, NHS Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board, said: “It’s incredible to think that COVID has been with us for three years, and heart breaking to consider the number of lives lost and distress caused to families and loved ones, as well the continued pain being experienced by those living with the symptoms of Long COVID.

“The National Day of Reflection is an opportunity to take time to remember the lives of those who have died and offer support to those who are grieving.

“I believe too that the day is an occasion to embrace hope.

“During the pandemic our communities came together like never before, with an overwhelming sense of care and compassion for the needs and wellbeing others. I shall be forever grateful for the efforts of local volunteers in helping keep the most vulnerable members of our communities safe. I sincerely hope that sense of compassion will continue long after COVID has been defeated.

“The day is also a chance to thank again our fantastic health and care staff for all they have done over the past three years, and all that they continue to do, since COVID still very much remains with us. Their dedication and hard work has been incredible. Thank you.

“And my deepest sympathy lies with all those whose lives have touched by the death of a loved one or friend during the pandemic.”

The National Day of Reflection is organised by Marie Curie UK.

There will be a one-minute silence at 12 noon on Thursday March 23.