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Forum Focus this month pays tribute to the thousands of people whose lives have been turned upside-down or put on hold by Covid-19, the worst pandemic to hit the world in a century.

There has been much comparison with the conditions and the response of the population during the two world wars, and it is ironic that this month we should have been commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.

We have therefore dedicated our four centre pages in this issue to remembering those who served our country at that time. But, of course, we also devote many more pages recording the ongoing efforts of those in the Blandford area to manage the dramatic changes that have overwhelmed us all in just a few short weeks - developments which have seen NHS, healthcare and other key workers recognised as heroes, businesses and schools closed, and Easter celebrated in lockdown.

Hundreds have stepped up to help the elderly and vulnerable in self-isolation, either individually or through hurriedly established helplines. A whole new range of activities has developed at home and online to keep people, particularly young people, occupied during restrictions designed with the mantra to 'Stay Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives'. Businesses have adapted their working practices and in some cases their products to keep going and support the community effort.

But many, particularly small local businesses, are in danger of failing to survive a prolonged closure despite the support offered to some by national and local government. The picture across the region, the country and the world is changing by the day; the future is uncertain. All we know for sure is that we shall emerge from this nightmare at some stage.

As your local community magazine, we shall endeavour to keep you updated with developments via this website. For now, we thank you, the community, for observing the rules and keeping us all as safe as possible.

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For stories and events not in the printed copy see News Extra above

For information and stories related to Covid-19 see Covid-19 above