On November 11 – just eight months after its first recorded fatality – the UK’s Covid-19 death toll passed 50,000.
In September, health secretary Matt Hancock told the Commons’ health and social care committee there was “no inevitability to a second peak”.
Yet that is what came, with the government criticised for delivering unclear messaging, flip-flopping over lockdown rules, and stubbornly low contact rates through the Test and Trace system. Since the end of July, when no deaths were recorded following diagnosis with Covid-19, the numbers have crept up again – slowly at first, but more recently at an alarming rate. More than 13,000 people have lost their lives to the so-called “second wave” of the coronavirus pandemic.
Each day brings more news of fatalities in the hundreds. And with each day, it becomes harder to focus on the individuals behind the numbers.
As one grieving family member told HuffPost UK: “These victims aren’t just a sad statistic. Behind every one of those numbers is a human being who was loved, whose smiles lit up the room and who have left broken hearts behind them.
“They deserve recognition.”
Anne Chapman, 78
Died October 16 in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland
A devout Catholic and former nurse, Anne Chapman was adored by her family and her entire community. Upon her death, the streets of her village of Newtownbutler were lined with mourners to pay their respects.
“She was just amazing,” her daughter Thérése told HuffPost UK. “She loved her children and her grandchildren. She did so much good and everybody loved her. She was an amazing example of how a human being should be.
“Mammy loved her faith and a good old Catholic pilgrimage, but she was also always up for the craic. She loved going on cruises with her friends and sun holidays, Mrs Brown’s Boys and Strictly Come Dancing.”
In 2016, Anne was diagnosed with blood cancer. A mother-of-eight, she was unfazed by the prognosis but within a short...