A year on: Cardiff lights up to remember Covid-19 victims

It’s been a year since the lockdown was announced in Wales and today marks a National Day of Reflection to remember those who died of Covid-19.

More than a hundred buildings and landmarks across Wales will be lit up in yellow, including Cardiff Castle, Principality Stadium and Cardiff City Hall.

Kirsty Fox-Smith is a member of Covid-19 Families Wales group, who campaigned for the illuminations. She lost her father in January.

Kirsty and her family

“It was really hard. I couldn’t touch him, I couldn’t kiss him, I couldn’t feel his hands. He wasn’t Dad,” she said.

“I stayed for about two or three hours. I just didn’t want to leave.

“I left the hospital and I sobbed. That was the last time I saw him.”

Anna-Louise Marsh-Rees is another member of the group. She lost her dad to Covid last year.

Anna-Louise and her dad

“When someone dies in that way you can’t go through the normal rituals of grieving that you would outside of times of Covid,” she said.

“The day of reflection enables us to come together and remember and reflect on our loved ones.”

First Minister Mark Drakeford paid his respects at the midday minute silence at Cathays Park. There was also a memorial service outside the Senedd this afternoon.

Cardiff Council Leader, Huw Thomas, said the year has been very difficult.

“One year ago, I don’t think many of us could imagine the scale of what we were all about to endure,” he said.

“Whilst the Covid-19 pandemic has been challenging for all of us, for too many families who have lost loved ones, it has been a devastating experience.”

People are encouraged to light a candle and pay tribute on their doorsteps at 8 o’clock this evening.