‘Sobering’ Newsnight footage puts UK’s Covid death toll into context

‘Sobering’ Newsnight footage puts UK’s Covid death toll into context

More than 79,000 people have now died from Covid-19 in the United Kingdom since the pandemic began as a new strain of the illness continues to spread through the country.

Although the UK has been placed into a third lockdown in an attempt to curve the spread, cases and deaths continue to grow since the start of January with a toll of 1,325 deaths being record on Friday, a new daily record

At the time of writing, 79,833 people have died from coronavirus in the UK. To put into context of just how many people that is, BBC Newsnight used footage from the London Olympic Games in 2012, perhaps one of the most uplifting events in recent British history, to demonstrate the fact.

On Thursday’s edition of the late night news show, presenter Kirsty Wark said in the closing segment of the show, “That's all from us tonight, but before we go we learned today that the UK Covid death toll has now reached 78,508. That's 78,508 individual lives lost. Such numbers are hard to comprehend, hard to visualise. What does 78,508 even look like? Well, this is what it looks like.”

Wark adds, “That's very nearly the full capacity of the Olympic stadium from the London 2012 games. Goodnight.”

The show then cuts to footage of a packed Olympic stadium in the summer of 2012, where the crowd is taking part in a Mexican wave. The capacity of the venue, which is now the home stadium of West Ham United Football Club, is 80,000.

Newsnight’s ending on Thursday has since been viewed more than one million times after being shared on social media with some calling in ‘difficult to watch.’

Vaccines for coronavirus have started to be distributed by the NHS but the guidelines are once again for everyone to stay at home if they can and avoid any unnecessary journeys.

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