One of the most remarkable things about London in lockdown is the quietness. For the many at home, just that difference has set a sombre tone to day-to-day life, a constant reminder of the crisis at foot. But within the stillness, key workers have kept crucial aspects of London life moving.
At 11am today (Tuesday April 28), the UK will be coming together in planned quietness, with a minute’s silence being held in honour of those on the frontline who have lost their lives to coronavirus.
The campaign for a minute’s silence has been led by the Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Nursing, and public service union Unison. The government is now backing it too, asking Westminster staff to observe a minute’s silence along with them and for those at home in lockdown to join the tribute.
At least 90 NHS staff are thought to have died since March 25, the largest segment of those being workers in London hospitals. The minute’s silence will also be in memory of key workers who have lost their lives as a result of the virus’s spread, from cleaners to bus drivers to staff in care homes across the country.
The minute’s silence has been timed to coincide with International Workers’ Memorial Day – a day commemorating workers who have passed away around the world – and organisers ask for people to join the moment from home, even if just by pushing back that conference call.
Today’s minute’s silence will be a contrast to the increasingly riotous (in a good way) Thursday night Clap for our Carers tributes being made around the city. But the silence won’t be any less heartfelt or poignant in its recognition of those who have sacrificed their lives to keep the capital moving and to fight the virus.
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