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23 Mar 2021

A Day of Reflection

Penny in her penultimate month

23 March 2021: A Day of Reflection was a day to remember, exactly one year on from the first imposed National Lockdown in the United Kingdom and the start of the COVID-19 pandemic: a year of restrictions; social distancing; cancelled holidays and postponed celebrations; video meetings and virtual conferences; scientific innovation and achievement with now twelve COVID-19 vaccines approved and half of all adults in the UK having received their first vaccine (including myself).

In Britain, this day of reflection was marked with a 1 minute silence at noon and lighting of candles and phone lights outside homes at 8pm to remember all those that died due to Coronavirus (in the UK a total of 126,284).

On a personal note, it is also the 2 year anniversary of the death of my mother so it will always remain a day of remembrance for me. My mother Penny (born Penelope) died of Peritoneal Cancer and had been through 2 rounds of Chemotherapy in the years prior. I remember her as a hard-working, young, single Mum who has inspired me to have a strong work ethic, independence and ambition. I am therefore, going to donate 5% of the income from my catalogue business and to different disease charities as a thank you to all the NHS staff who looked after my mum and have worked so hard throughout the pandemic; to give back to the research community that has been the bedrock customer base of Cambridge Research Biochemicals for the last 40 years and finally to pay back my debts to society for the support I had in my early education in Middlesbrough (free school meals and a free University education at Manchester University to study Chemistry).

It was International Women’s day also this month on 8th March and I was treated to a wonderful surprise note from my daughter Abigail to wish me a Happy International Women’s Day and to thank me for being a great role model. She is now reading Chemistry at Durham University and is passionate about science and rising further than her previous generation.

As a business owner, it has been a year of commitment (to customers and staff); of excitement (at making SARS-CoV2 products) and resilience (keeping steady with so much uncertainty in 2020).

A pandemic is a once in a century occurrence and we will get through it. Humans are versatile, innovative and work together. We will look back with some nostalgia and appreciation of the simple things in life I am sure.

Time to reflect…

Emily Humphrys (Managing Director, Cambridge Research Biochemicals)