Countdown to Lockdown: A year ago today, as death toll hit 281 and Britons enjoyed one last day of freedom, a daughter took the last ever photo of her father, 60, before he died from Covid in an image that lays bare the devastating impact of pandemic

  • On this day in 2020, psychologist Kathryn de Prudhoe took what would be the final photograph of her father
  • Tony Clay, who had mildly raised blood pressure before he caught the virus, died from Covid aged 60 in April
  • PM said there was ‘no doubt’ he would act to shut open spaces and limit all movement outside homes
  • Warning came one day before he announced a country-wide lockdown, with Britons ordered to stay indoors
  • People began to predict limits on freedoms so many turned to panic buying to stock up on essentials
  • March 22, 2020, brought 47 Covid deaths in 24 hours, including an 18-year-old who was the then-youngest 

A heartbroken daughter has reflected on the last photo she took of her father before he died from Covid-19 in an image that lays bare the devastating impact of the pandemic.

On this day in 2020, psychologist Kathryn de Prudhoe took what would be the final photograph of her father Tony Clay who died from coronavirus aged 60 in April.

She shared a photo of Mr Clay – who had only mildly raised blood pressure before he caught the virus – playing with her son.

She added the caption: ‘It’s one year today since I took this photo.

‘I had no idea it was the last time we’d be together as a family, or the last ever photo of my dad, or the last time my children played with granddad or that I would share it with the world to show the devastating impact of Covid-19.’

On March 22, 2020, Britain was just one day away from Boris Johnson announcing a full country-wide lockdown, with Britons allowed out only for basic necessities, one form of exercise a day, for medical reasons or to travel to or from work if it cannot be done from home.

But the rules weren’t yet in place on that Mother’s Day, with the PM using his daily Covid press briefing to threaten to ban Britons from leaving their homes ‘within 24 hours’ if they refused to follow the ‘absolutely crucial’ social distancing rules.

The PM said there was ‘no doubt’ he would act to shut open spaces and limit all movement outside homes if people continued to act foolishly in breach of social distancing rules – but stopped short of immediate action. 

With people beginning to predict the unprecedented limits on their freedoms, many turned to panic buying to stock up on essentials.

But, their rush to the supermarkets turned into chaos, with one Tesco forced to shut its doors early after selfish shoppers invaded the hour reserved for NHS staff.

Meanwhile, March 22, 2020, saw Britons flock to beaches and parks up and down the country for a stroll, despite social distancing advice from the Government.

That day brought a further 47 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours – bringing the total to 281.

Among the 47 was an  18-year-old, who became the then-youngest person to die of coronavirus in the UK.

And, with Monday set to be the first day of schools being open only for key workers’ children, parents faced calls to ‘play fair’ and not send their children to class amid concerns of overcrowding.

Here, MailOnline continues its countdown of the days leading to the anniversary of the March 23 shutdown. 

On this day in 2020, psychologist Kathryn de Prudhoe took what would be the final photograph of her father Tony Clay who died from coronavirus aged 60 in April

March 22, 2020: Boris Johnson hints he could ban all Britons from leaving homes

On this day last year,  Boris Johnson used his daily press conference to hint that he could ban all Britons from leaving their homes ‘within 24 hours’ if they refused to keep the ‘absolutely crucial’ six feet apart.

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

He said there was ‘no doubt’ he would act to shut open spaces and limit all movement outside homes if people continued to act foolishly – but stopped short of immediate action.

The PM’s threat came just one day before he announced a full country-wide lockdown, with Britons told to leave their homes only for basic necessities, one form of exercise a day, for medical reasons or to travel to or from work if it cannot be done from home.

And it followed appalling scenes earlier in the day as Britons flocked to beaches and parks up and down the country for a Mother’s Day stroll – despite social distancing advice from the Government.

On this day last year, Boris Johnson used his daily press conference to hint that he could ban all Britons from leaving their homes ‘within 24 hours’ if they refused to keep the ‘absolutely crucial’ six feet apart 

It followed appalling scenes earlier in the day as Britons flocked to beaches and parks (Greenwich Park, pictured) up and down the country for a Mother’s Day stroll – despite social distancing advice from the Government

Pen y Pass near Llanberis in Gwynedd on the morning of March 22, 2020, as visitors ignore requests to stay away on Snowdonia

March 22, 2020: Tesco supermarket is forced to shut due to panic buyers

Hundreds of shoppers were spotted queuing outside supermarkets on Mother’s Day last year.

Eager shoppers lined up outside a Tesco in Cheshunt just before it opened its doors to NHS workers and emergency staff in a bid to help them buy essentials before panic buyers ransacked the shelves.

However, one Tesco was forced to shut its doors early after selfish shoppers invaded the hour reserved for NHS staff.

The shop in Milton, near Cambridge, had to shut its doors and start operating a one-in one-out policy from 10.15am after hundreds of members of the general public started shopping too early and the store quickly became full to capacity.

The shop in Milton, near Cambridge, had to start operating a one-in one-out policy from 10.15am on March 22, 2020, after hundreds of members of the general public started shopping too early and the store quickly became full too capacity

Shoppers queued outside a branch of Costco, in Croydon, south London, on March 22, 2020

Tesco Extra in Southend on Sea attracted huge numbers of shoppers who created a queue snaking around the car park

March 22, 2020: UK Covid death toll hits 281 after 47 new fatalities are recorded

On March 22, 2020, an 18-year-old became the then-youngest person to die of coronavirus in the UK

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

On March 22, 2020, an 18-year-old became the then-youngest person to die of coronavirus in the UK.

He was one of 47 new deaths in 24 hours with the toll hitting 281 and the number of cases leaping by 665 to reach 5,683.

Boris Johnson had earlier warned that people not following social distancing guidelines amid the coronavirus outbreak are ‘putting other people’s lives at risk’.

March 22, 2020: Parents are urged to ‘play fair’ by not sending children to school

School unions begged parents to ‘play fair’ and not send their children to class amid concerns of overcrowding. 

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

Gavin Williamson came under fire after the Department of Education published confusing guidance on the workers it deems ‘key’ to the Covid-19 response. 

The Government ordered mass school closures. However, it exempted parents who worked in eight sectors deemed ‘critical’ to keeping the country’s public services and economy afloat. 

This meant so-called ‘key workers’ could send their children to school.  

But the guidance was slammed by school unions for its ambiguity, as headteachers feared up to 1.7million children could attend class in fewer schools.   

It was combined with concerns that companies would choose ‘profit over people’ by encouraging parents to self-identify as ‘key workers’.

Gavin Williamson came under fire after the Department of Education published confusing guidance on the workers it deems ‘key’ to the Covid-19 response

March 22, 2020: Government unveils unprecedented aid packages

The Government announced unprecedented packages of food and aid to be delivered to 1.5million ‘extremely vulnerable’ people as letters were posted ordering them to stay at home for twelve weeks. 

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

At the daily press conference on March 22, 2020, Boris Johnson said the ‘shielding’ of the people considered to be the most vulnerable to coronavirus would do ‘more than any other single measure to save lives’.

This include people with severe respiratory conditions and those suffering from some cancers such as those of the blood or marrow.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said that then was the time to ‘go further’ to shield clinically vulnerable people, and pledged that they were ‘not alone’.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick (pictured) said that then was the time to ‘go further’ to shield clinically vulnerable people, and pledged that they were ‘not alone’ 

March 22, 2020: Hollyoaks production HALTED amid coronavirus crisis

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

On this day in 2020, production on long-running soap Hollyoaks was halted due to Covid-19.

Bosses of the popular series put out an announcement also revealing that the number of episodes aired weekly would be reduced from five to three.

Earlier in the week, the BBC suspended filming of EastEnders and other top BBC dramas including Casualty, Doctors, Holby City, River City and Welsh series Pobol y Cwm.   

On this day in 2020, production on long-running soap Hollyoaks was halted due to Covid-19.

March 22, 2020: Streets across UK are left empty after pubs and clubs close 

The streets of Britain’s popular city centres were empty on the night of March 22, 2020, as the nation heeded its Government’s warnings to stay inside and keep away from others.

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

But even so, crowds flocked to watch supercars go by in an upmarket Kensington street despite growing calls for social distancing.  

The eerily empty streets of Nottingham, Birmingham and Bristol painted an unfamiliar picture of the country – with images showing formerly-major hubs of social activity abandoned in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Despite the majority of London being abandoned leaving streets and shops empty, Sloane Street played host to a hoard of expensive sports cars, with crowds gathered around to watch. 

The streets of Britain’s popular city centres (Newcastle, pictured) were empty on the night of March 22, 2020, as the nation heeded its Government’s warnings to stay inside and keep away from others 

The eerily empty streets of Nottingham, Birmingham and Bristol (pictured) painted an unfamiliar picture of the country – with images showing formerly-major hubs of social activity abandoned in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic 

But even so, crowds flocked to watch supercars go by in an upmarket Kensington street despite growing calls for social distancing

Despite the majority of London being abandoned leaving streets and shops empty, Sloane Street played host to a hoard of expensive sports cars, with crowds gathered around to watch 

March 22, 2020: All McDonald’s and Nando’s restaurants close 

All McDonald’s and Nando’s restaurants closed on this day last year.

McDonald’s previously shut down the seating areas of its restaurants, but confirmed in a statement that all its eateries would close at 7pm on March 22, 2020. 

Paul Pomroy, Chief Executive Officer of McDonald’s in the UK and Ireland said: ‘Over the last 24 hours, it has become clear that maintaining safe social distancing whilst operating busy takeaway and Drive Thru restaurants is increasingly difficult and therefore we have taken the decision to close every restaurant in the UK and Ireland by 7pm on Monday 23rd March at the latest.’  

Nando’s followed suit and said it would temporarily close all its restaurants in the UK ‘until further notice’.

The chain has more than 400 restaurants in the country and said the decision was ‘the best course of action’.

In a post on Twitter, the company said: ‘The health and safety of our customers and team is our highest priority.

‘We have decided that the best course of action right now is to temporarily close our restaurants until further notice.

‘We will keep you updated on our channels. We’ll see you soon.’

All McDonald’s and Nando’s restaurants closed on this day last year. McDonald’s previously shut down the seating areas of its restaurants, but confirmed in a statement that all its eateries would close at 7pm on March 22, 2020 

March 22, 2020: Doctors said Covid patients ‘feel better before condition worsens’ 

Doctors warned that people diagnosed with Covid-19 would often see a break in symptoms before their condition suddenly worsens on this day last year.

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

Physicians in the US were beginning to get a better grasp of coronavirus as the number of US cases continued to climb – surpassing 30,000 on that day.  

The symptoms were often mild early on, they said, with patients complaining of slight coughs, headaches and low-grade fevers.  

Dr Joshua Denson, a pulmonary medicine and critical care physician at Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans – who had treated about 15 to 20 Covid-19 patients by then – described the first phase of the disease as a ‘slow burn’.  

‘Patients tend to have symptoms for about a week before either getting better, or getting really sick,’ Denson told NBC News.  

On March 22, 2020, seven-year-old Emily Jones was stabbed to death in a ‘totally unprovoked and random attack’ while she was out ‘enjoying the spring sun’ with her family on Mother’s Day.

Emergency services were called to Queen’s Park in Bolton at around 2.30pm that day after reports a young girl had been attacked by a woman with a knife. She was not named at that time.

The seven-year-old sustained ‘horrendous injuries’ and died a short time later despite the ‘best efforts’ of her family and paramedics.

On March 22, 2020, seven-year-old Emily Jones (pictured) was stabbed to death in a ‘totally unprovoked and random attack’ while she was out ‘enjoying the spring sun’ with her family on Mother’s Day 

March 22, 2020:  And meanwhile, elsewhere in the world…

Coronavirus claims 651 lives in Italy in 24 hours taking toll to 5,476, while infections soar to nearly 60,000  

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

Sobering images from the then-Covid epicenter of Italy showed paramedics rushing to help a man who collapsed at a bus stop in scenes eerily reminiscent of China during the worst stages of its epidemic.

Medics in Rome were seen loading the man into an ambulance on the night of March 22, 2020, as the government announced 651 people died from the virus that day alone.

Italy’s total death toll then stood at 5,476 – outstripping China and accounting for a third of the world’s total fatalities. Almost 60,000 infections were confirmed in the country.

Sobering images from the then-Covid epicenter of Italy showed paramedics rushing to help a man (pictured) who collapsed at a bus stop in scenes eerily reminiscent of China during the worst stages of its epidemic

Medics in Rome were seen loading the man into an ambulance on the night of March 22, 2020, as the government announced 651 people died from the virus that day alone

Veteran Spanish opera singer Placido Domingo, 79, tests positive for coronavirus  

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

On this day last year, Spanish opera singer Placido Domingo announced through a Facebook post that he had coronavirus and was in self-isolation.

In his statement, Domingo, 79, urged others to be ‘extremely careful’ and follow the basic guidelines of hand washing and social distancing to stop the spread of the disease. 

The veteran singer decided to get tested after suffering from a high fever and a cough, and the test has since come back positive.  

On this day last year, Spanish opera singer Placido Domingo (pictured) announced through a Facebook post that he had coronavirus and was in self-isolation

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is put in quarantine after doctor she saw tested positive for coronavirus

Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel announced she would quarantine herself at home after being treated by a doctor who had since tested positive for coronavirus.

‘The Chancellor has decided to quarantine herself at home. She will be tested regularly in the coming days… (and) fulfil her official business from home,’ Steffen Seibert said in a statement on March 22, 2020. 

The doctor had visited Merkel to vaccinate her against the pneumococcus bacteria. 

It came just hours after she banned gatherings of more than two people in a nationwide crackdown to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Around 73 people had then died in Germany after testing positive for Covid-19 – which had infected almost 22,000 across the nation at that time. 

Spain’s ex-King Juan Carlos ‘hired spy chief to harass his former mistress after falling out with her when their relationship caused scandal in the country’ 

On this day last year, Spain’s royal family faced scandal as a former royal mistress was set to testify in court that she was hounded by a spy after falling out of favour with the clan. 

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein – a German businesswoman who used to be a lover of Spain’s former King Juan Carlos – was initially due to give evidence in a Madrid court. However, the hearing was cancelled because of coronavirus. 

She claimed that the former head of the country’s National Intelligence Centre, General Felix Sanz Roldan, carried out an intimidation and harassment campaign against her under the orders of Juan Carlos. 

After she joined him on a controversial hunting trip to Botswana she claimed she got a text message from a security company who said her ‘friends in Spain’ has asked them to take care of her and had put French Foreign Legionnaires at her Monaco flat.  

Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein – a German businesswoman who used to be a lover of Spain’s former King Juan Carlos – was initially due to give evidence in a Madrid court. However, the hearing was cancelled because of coronavirus

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