Covid One Year On: Anniversary of Huntingdonshire's first case of the virus
- Credit: Archant
It is exactly one year today since Huntingdonshire had its first outbreak of Covid-19.
On March 13, 2020 the district recorded its first case of the new coronavirus, but it would be just over a week later before the country went into its first lockdown on March 23.
Since then, the UK's coronavirus death toll has risen to nearly 125,000 and the country is amid its third lockdown.
The first case for Hunts came just days after neighbouring authorities –with Fenland on March 5 2020 and Cambridge on March 10 2020.
Little did our communities know what tragedy and testing times would be ahead - with our claps for carers, rainbows in windows and never-ending Zoom calls.
However, there is now light at the end of the tunnel, as the number of new daily cases in the UK continues to decline.
As of this week, there have been 147 cases of Covid-19 in Huntingdonshire, down 27 compared to last week.
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Figures according to Public Health England (PHE) show that there been a total of 7,415 cases in the district up to March 8 and, tragically, 264 coronavirus-related deaths registered to February 26.
Around 56,953 residents so far have had their first dose of the vaccine as part of the country's biggest inoculation rollout.
Our communities showed immense courage when faced with the pandemic and quickly learnt to adapt to help those in need.
The Huntingdonshire Community Group’s Covid-19 Response Team’s support has been ongoing over the past 12 months.
Shopping requests, prescription collections, essential chores for vulnerable residents and a friendly ear for a chat have been just some of the ways they have helped.
Local businesses did their utmost to keep spirits high and provided dozens of meals, activity packs and held virtual charity events.
And fundraising didn’t stop because of Covid-19.
Father-of-two Luke Claxton, from Hartford, raised £35,000 for charity in the first lockdown after setting up a number of community challenges.
Buckfest organisers raised more than £8,000 despite their annual music festival being cancelled, Stuie Delf raised an incredible £16,000 for a children’s hospice and Kate Pistilli, 33 - who was eight months pregnant with breast cancer - doused St Ives in glitter.
Covid survivors were also keen to help raise awareness of the disease and offer thanks to healthcare staff.
Jay Clack, from Offord, spent 10 days in the intensive care at Hinchingbrooke Hospital fighting for his life.
“It’s no game, it nearly killed me,” he warned Hunts Post readers.
And Mark Stocks, from Huntingdon, was given a 50/50 chance of survival at his darkest point.
He went on to raise more than £1,000 in a charity walk in August.
But unlike Mark and Jay, there were others that we tragically lost to Covid-19.
Staff at Hinchingbrooke Hospital mourned the loss of well-known and respected colleague Dave Kemp, who passed away after contracting coronavirus in December.
Dave was a ward clerk who worked on the acute assessment unit.
“He was a very popular team member and will be greatly missed,” the Trust said.
Ken Fleet, who was just days away from celebrating his 70th wedding anniversary with his wife Edith, died just days after a routine hospital visit last summer.
“It was horrible not seeing him but the staff were marvellous and I couldn’t fault them,” said Edith.
Huntingdonshire District Council is continuing to remind people that although restrictions are set to ease - we still need to play our part.
“We all need to go the extra mile to stop Covid in its tracks and get back to a more normal life,” they said.
“It is really important that you keep following the rules after you've had your Covid‐19 vaccine.
“Stay home as much as possible to save lives, and if you do need to leave the house for an essential reason remember 'hands, face, space'.