Look back on how Covid changed life in the Portsmouth area in a special 32-page e-mag

As one of Portsmouth’s more famous sons almost wrote: ‘It was the worst of times, but it was sometimes the best of times.’

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Friday, 18th December 2020, 5:38 pm

There are few words left to describe 2020 — calling it ‘unprecedented’ became tedious by about mid-June.

The year promised so much globally and locally in the Portsmouth area — but soon the calendar was wiped out by the pandemic.

We will never forget that it has been a year of heart-breaking pain, not just because of illness and bereavements but because of the nature of those bereavements; visiting scrapped in hospitals, access denied to care homes, families unable to see each other.

Clap for Carers at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham back in May

There has also been terrible economic pain, with jobs being lost by the tens of thousands, a quarter of workers being furloughed, and many businesses looking ahead with trepidation, not optimism.

We also had to cut ourselves off from friends, colleagues and relatives, and we had to retreat in many cases to digital communication.

But while screen time may have become the norm when speaking to parents or grandparents, there was a new-found zest for wanting to help each other.

For weeks on end The News reported uplifting stories, from people who had joined local support groups to make sure those shielding remained fed and watered, to those who entertained their street — Elvis on top of his garage was one memorable act — to those who, following the lead of the famous marathon-walking centenarian Sir Tom Moore, dedicated hours of their time to fundraising.

Young and old made the most of the weather, keeping busy but also wanting to do something for the greater good.

And Clap for Carers was the perfect example — a spontaneous movement that saw all corners of the country joining in, and which proved a surprisingly moving moment on Thursday evenings.

Now, in a special 32-page supplement 2020: A Year Like No Other, The News has looked back on how life changed for all of us in the Portsmouth area. To read the e-mag version, click here