This weekend marks the fourth anniversary of the first lockdown in the UK.

Boris Johnson announced on March 23 that the UK would be going into lockdown amid the worsening coronavirus crisis, ordering people to “stay at home”.

The first reported death due to Covid-19 in the UK was reported on March 5, 2020. Since then, 230,626 deaths have been recorded up to December 2023, the final data update of the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.

Four years on, the people of Southampton have been reflecting on how the pandemic impacted them, and their memories of it at the time.

Karoline, 52, said: “During lockdown, I was a registered nurse and it was a stressful and worrying time as I had to face this mystery illness whilst working in a hospital and saw the sickest people during this period.

“I was working loads and even when I did have time off I could barely relax. At the time I had a Dunkirk spirit and just tried to plod on.”

Cameron Carey, 24, said: “Lockdown was a really important time in my life as during it I was working as a graphic designer, and it made me deeply think about my career aspirations.

“So I went back into education and came to university.

“If it wasn’t for lockdown I would have probably stayed in the routine of working so I’m glad it came around and let me have a reset.

“Being inside for so long definitely impacted my fitness as I’m a very active person and got in the routine of just lying about all day so it impacted me negatively sports and fitness-wise.”

Paul Fletcher, 47, added: “It was a very strange time to a degree. I really enjoyed it, I was furloughed for three months at the time getting 80 per cent pay.

“The weather was brilliant for it all whilst it also gave me an insight into retirement as I am never going to have a break like this in my working life ever.

“I was also worrying due to the uncertainty and the longer it went on I didn’t know if we were going to get out of it.

“I still think we are all recovering from the disease though financially and some people mentally, but I feel lucky to the extent where it didn’t affect me both physically and mentally as I’ve learnt to accept that Covid is always going to be around just like the flu.”