The Guildhall will also be lit up to mark the eventRICHARD HUMPHREY/GEOGRAPH

Cambridge Mayor, Councillor Russ McPherson, will lead a minute’s silence at midday today (23/03) to mark the one year anniversary of the first coronavirus lockdown. Since the beginning of the pandemic, over 126,000 people (as of 22/03) have died within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test in the UK.

The Guildhall will be lit up in purple and gold to mark the occasion, to represent both the spirit of remembrance and hope for the future. Local residents have also been invited to light up their front doorways to participate.

Councillor McPherson called this “poignant anniversary” a time to “remember everyone who has loved ones or friends still suffering, and especially those who have tragically lost their lives due to this terrible virus”.

The events are happening as part of Marie Curie’s National Day of Reflection, which has gained the support of leading politicians including Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer. Nationwide, doorsteps will be lit up, as will many prominent buildings across the UK.

While there have been many devastating results of the pandemic, McPherson also noted that the last year had shown “the very best in the people of our city and all around the country”. He praised residents for “joining in with the work of our community support hubs to help those most in need, supporting local businesses or looking out for elderly or vulnerable neighbours.”


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Over the course of the year, there were several positive stories coming out of Cambridge, showing efforts to come together as a community during a particularly difficult time. Among these initiatives, King’s College opened their student accommodation to house rough sleepers, while the group Cambridge Sustainable Food supplied local families with food hampers over the Christmas period.

McPherson thanked Cambridge residents for “showing such great community solidarity” over the course of the pandemic, but warned people “not to let [their] guard down”, asking residents “to continue to follow the national guidance to stay safe as we look forward to better times ahead.”