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Exhibition in Hull reflects on life with Coronavirus

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People in Hull can explore the story of how the city has coped, worked and adapted to live through the continuing Coronavirus pandemic through a new exhibition opening Friday January 28. Located in the fruit market, the exhibition is based on a new report by Hull’s Director of Public Health, Julia Weldon, which reflects on life over the past two years.

The report, titled ‘Of Time and Tidings’, tells the stories of 12 local people in their own words, building a rich picture of what happened in the city when everything changed overnight – and has continued to change ever since. The result is an overview of Hull’s response to the virus, from the people and organisations involved in ensuring essential services carried on or adapted through incredibly challenging circumstances.

The exhibition is a chance to see portraits and extracts of conversation with those featured in the report.

They include:

  • The owner of a small supermarket who had to figure out how to keep shelves stocked and staff safe through the earliest and scariest days of mass shutdowns
  • Care home staff facing grief, loss and isolation caring for some of the city’s most vulnerable people
  • A teacher and a pupil who both had their own experiences of learning disruption, loneliness and a commitment to keep going whatever happened
  • A GP who worked to keep homeless people to ensure nobody was without healthcare and a safe place to stay
  • An ICU nurse caring for Covid patients who urges people to understand the pandemic is not over, and vaccination truly saves lives
  • A husband and wife pair of vaccinators who worked opposite shifts to protect as many people as possible
  • Plus a number of other stories from a health visitor, local business owner, fire and rescue officer and the voluntary and community sector
An extract from the report

Julia also recounts her own story in the report, of leading Hull’s public health response to the most significant emergency of her career as Director of Public Health.

She said: “Directors of public health have to produce a report every year. This year, I knew that focussing on our pandemic response was the only thing to do. I’m so grateful to everyone who agreed to be part of it and gave us their stories and their time.

“Personally, this has been an unprecedented situation in which to work and lead a team. At times, it has felt unrelenting, and we have had to ask people to work extremely hard in circumstances that have often been very testing. However, I’m also so very proud of our teams, residents and communities and the incredible resilience every person has shown.

“It wouldn’t be possible to capture all experiences of the past almost two years. Every one of us is living every day with very personal impacts of this pandemic. But what we have done is collected a diverse spectrum of accounts. Together, they’re a window into how people throughout the city put others first and made huge personal sacrifices to deliver care, keep shelves stocked, carry on educating, deliver food and supplies where they were desperately needed.

“The pandemic is not over – we are all so very aware of that right now, as we are in the midst of very high rates and rules that continue to change. However, the report is a reminder of just how much everyone in the city has done, and how far we have come”.

Download and view the report here: https://www.hull.gov.uk/health-and-wellbeing/public-health/dph-annual-report

The exhibition opens on Friday January 28, from 5pm. In order to minimise risk of Coronavirus transmission, exhibits will be placed within a unit on Humber Street, outward-facing, so that visitors can explore from the street without needing to be inside an enclosed space.

All visitors are encouraged to use the dedicated space which will be part of the exhibition to snap a selfie and share their own story of the pandemic – experiences, difficulties and any positives which may have come out of it, using #HullsCovidStory.

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