Life Under Lockdown: ITV News finds grief and hope in Nottingham

Credit: ITV News

ITV News has spent the last month in Nottingham, learning how England's Covid-19 lockdown has affected people there.Correspondent Geraint Vincent met Cathy Shepherd whose husband's funeral took place during the second lockdown, and Emma Owen-Jones who recently gave birth.

In Nottingham I was privileged to be given an intimate insight into how the lockdowns of 2020 have had a profound impact on the fundamental human experience.Paul Shepherd was an ex-Grenadier Guardsman who received a diagnosis of terminal cancer during the first lockdown. 

A course of chemotherapy might have extended his life, but with restrictions on hospital visits, a stay in hospital brought with it the risk that he might die alone. 

So Paul and his wife Cathy decided against any treatment, and he passed away at home just before the second lockdown began.

Emma Owen-Jones discovered she was pregnant at the start of the first lockdown. 

She is a teacher, and has spent her pregnancy working from home. 

Again, hospital restrictions have had an impact. 

She had to go to her 12 and 24 week scans without her husband Chris. 

And with the baby due some time in the second lockdown, she opted to have a Caesarean section.

Paul’s funeral took place a week into the second lockdown. 

Cathy walked in front of his hearse with their daughters Laura and Kay. 

At a socially-distanced funeral, the girls had to decide which mourners could actually come into the service and who would have to watch a webcast on their phones outside. 

A difficult job on their most difficult day.In the last week of lockdown, Emma and Chris welcomed baby Ollie into the world. 

Still the restrictions on numbers in the maternity ward held sway over the first few hours of family life. 

Chris was there for the operation, but had to leave shortly afterwards. 

Emma describes a strange few hours as she lay on her own with her new baby, asking "brilliant midwives" if everything was still OK.

Nottingham is set to enter Tier 3 on Wednesday, at a time when Cathy most needs her extended family around her. 

Lockdown demanded an enormous amount of courage from her and her late husband. 

Between the grief and the pain and the joy and wonder of being human, lockdown has cast a long shadow.