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A year of the Covid pandemic in pictures

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One year ago today, the British public sat down in front of the TV to watch the prime minister make a statement which would turn all of our lives upside down.

The country was plunged into lockdown as a the spread of a deadly new disease called coronavirus quickly took over the country – and the globe – and turned into a terrifying worldwide pandemic.

As we retreated indoors to follow stay at home orders and protect ourselves and our peers, many of us thought it would only last a matter of weeks. Yet 12 months on, Covid-19 still dominates our everyday lives.

Queues outside supermarkets, wearing face masks, work video calls and long walks in the park have become commonplace.

Phrases such as ‘social distancing’ and ‘furlough’ were unknown in pre-pandemic times, but are now part of our daily language.

And holidays abroad, nights out clubbing and hugging our friends have become a distant memory.

But although a year marked heavily by loss, grief, missing loved ones and yearning for adventure has brought us a lot of heartache, it has also brought us some small glimmers of positivity for the future.

Renewed recognition for our hardworking healthcare workers, a national outpouring of love for a previously unknown man called Captain Tom, and hope in a vaccine to save lives across the globe. And an appreciation for the smaller things in life we may not have considered before.

Below Metro.co.uk summarises the last year of the coronavirus pandemic, in both heartbreaking and heartwarming pictures.

Tube carriages started to empty as officials advised against non-essential travel (Picture: Getty Images)
Spates of ‘panic buying’ as the first national lockdown was announced cleared supermarket shelves of items like toilet paper and cleaning products (Picture: Getty Images)
Hard-working supermarket staff battled to refill shelves as bosses urged customers not to buy more than they needed (Picture: Getty Images)
Huge queues outside supermarkets will be a stark reminder of the pandemic for many years to come (Picture: Getty Images)
Lois Copley-Jones, 4, takes part in a live broadcast of PE with trainer Joe Wicks on the first day of the nationwide school closures on March 23, 2020 (Picture: Getty Images)
A woman inspects frozen milk left on the streets by a bakery in Bath that closed the day after the first national lockdown was announced (Picture: PA)
A herd of goats took over the deserted streets of Llandudno, north Wales, in lockdown (Picture: PA)
Nurses tend to a patient suffering with Covid-19 on the critical care unit at the Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge (Picture: PA)
Workers lower the coffin of Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, who died of coronavirus at the age of 13, into the ground at the Eternal Gardens Muslim Burial Ground in Chislehurst (Picture: PA)
Police officers worked through lockdown to ensure members of the public were following the rules (Picture: PA)
War veteran Captain Sir Tom Moore after achieving his goal of 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday, raising more than 12 million pounds for the NHS (Picture: PA)
For 10 weeks the nation clapped every Thursday evening to celebrate our NHS staff and key workers for their hard work throughout the pandemic (Picture: PA)
Communities were brought together on their doorsteps for the weekly celebration of our NHS heroes (Picture: Getty Images)
NHS staff pictured by the Thames near St Thomas’ Hospital in central London on April 23, 2020, taking part in the ‘clap for carers’ (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)
A message of support painted on a road in Liverpool to salute local heroes (Picture: PA)
A rare double rainbow appears above Nine Elms in south London on April 30, 2020, just in time for ‘clap for carers’ (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)
Ben and Isaac talk to their grandparents Sue and Alan through a window in Cheshire, after families haven’t been in contact for many weeks (Picture: PA)
PPE supplies arrive from Tianjin, China at Bournemouth International Airport on a plane bearing the words ‘thank you NHS’ (Picture: Getty Images)
A woman wearing a face mask reads the Metro as she stands aboard a London Underground Tube train, in the morning rush hour on May 11, 2020 (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)
Neonatal nurse Kirsty Hartley carries newborn Theo Anderson, who was born prematurely, to his mum Kirsty Anderson in Burnley General Hospital amid the pandemic (Picture: Reuters)
A nurse making a video of a newborn baby, at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey, to send to the parents whilst visiting hours are restricted in May 2020 (Picture: PA)
A police officer in Belfast wears PPE to interact with a detained person suspected to have contracted Covid-19 (Picture: PA)
Margaret Yeoman, 90, sees her son John Yeoman, 62, and his wife Denise Yeoman, 63, for the first time in eight weeks as they visit her in a Tyneside care home (Picture: PA)
Sunbathers enjoy the sunny weather on Boscombe beach in Bournemouth in May 2020 as lockdown measures start to be eased (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)
Customers socially distance in the queue to enter Ikea Warrington as shops started to reopen in June 2020 (Picture: Getty Images)
Ben Senior, from the Highland Council in Inverness, walking among some thousands of food packages filled for people still shielding over the summer (Picture: PA)
July 4, 2020 was known as ‘Super Saturday’ as it was the first day of pubs reopening after lockdown measures eased over the summer (Picture: Reuters)
Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme was popular through August to get the public back inside England’s restaurants and spending again (Picture: PA)
But Boris Johnson later announced a 10pm curfew for pubs closing in England (Picture: PA)
The NHS Covid-19 mobile phone application was launched in September after heavy delays to help contact-tracing efforts (Picture: PA)
Ramped up testing across the country was used to attempt to control local outbreaks of the virus (Picture: PA)
Three tiers of local restrictions were introduced in England later in 2020 to help manage coronavirus in individual areas (Picture: PA)
In Scotland, there were five tiers of local restrictions (Picture: Getty Images)
Artist Peter Barber working on a mural in Manchester city , depicting nurse Melanie Senior, based on a photograph (Picture: PA)
Businesses were closed once again as another four-week national lockdown was brought in over November in England (Picture: Getty Images)
People pass shuttered shops on Oxford Street, London, during the second national lockdown (Picture: PA)
Pupils could still go to school, but the majority of shops across England were closed (Picture: PA)
Vaccine hope was on the horizon as Margaret Keenan, 90, became the first patient in the UK to receive the approved Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine in Coventry (Picture: PA)
Margaret was applauded by staff as she left the hospital after receiving her vaccine in early December 2020 (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)
In December 2020 the Government introduced a fourth tier of restrictions, with non-essential businesses made to close in a similar way to a larger lockdown (Picture: NurPhoto / PA Images)
A deserted Oxford Street after the prime minister was forced to cancel Christmas for millions of people due to a spike in coronavirus infections (Picture: PA)
A view of Bluewater shopping in Kent after people were banned from mixing over Christmas (Picture: PA)
Two people cross a quiet Millennium Bridge in London on December 21, 2020 (Picture: PA)
Renewed hope for the beginning of 2021 as people queued up in Staffordshire to receive the recently approved Oxford AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine (Picture: PA)
Huge vaccination s were opened across the country to help spur on the UK’s mass rollout efforts (Picture: PA)
Schools in England were closed once again for the third national coronavirus lockdown from January 2021 (Picture: Getty Images)
Parents had to help with home schooling until schools reopened on March 8 (Picture: Getty Images)
Chains secure the doors of a closed Fuller’s pub in London during the third national lockdown (Picture: PA)
The nation mourned the loss of Captain Sir Tom Moore in February 2021, after he sadly died from coronavirus at the age of 100 (Picture: UK Ministry of Defence 2021)
Mr Johnson, aged 56, received the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in London last week amid controversy around the jab in the EU (Picture: Unpixs)

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