Back in January when hundreds of people, buzzing with anticipation, gathered at Teledyne in Chelmsford for the launch of Essex 2020, no-one could have imagined how our lives were to be blighted by coronavirus.

This year was supposed to be a huge one for Essex, with a 12 month long packed programme of events taking place to celebrate our county’s scientific, mathematic, engineering, technological and artistic achievements, both past and present, culminating with the British Science Fair being held in Chelmsford in September.

As BBC Essex DJ Dave Monk put it as he gave an impassioned speech at the launch event: “The eyes of the world will be upon Essex this year. And we are ready! We’ve got this.”

With the outbreak of Covid-19, everything has changed. Some events have had to be cancelled or pushed back but one thing remains true - Essex has still got this. We’re just having to adapt.

Essex County Council chief executive Gavin Jones said: “Essex 2020 is still very much on, we’ve just moved it online for now. Great work has been done over the past several weeks of the lockdown to bring the festival online and to ensure we still reach as many people across Essex as we can.

“This was an example of the classic Essex spirit. We hit a crossroads with the coronavirus outbreak. We could pack up and gone home or we could find a way to adapt and to ensure that we make Essex 2020 as successful as humanly possible.”

Since the lockdown began engagement in Essex 2020 on social media has shot up by 355 per cent, demonstrating that a switch in focus from physical to digital events hasn’t deterred people from getting involved.

And there are many events yet to come. The energy to make Essex 2020 a success hasn’t dwindled says Essex county councillor Dick Madden, councillor responsible for Essex 2020.

“There has been a brilliant response to the online events, and it continues to be an excellent chance for us to engage online with more people than may have been possible before,” he said,

“For example, one of video game-making workshops reached more than 2,000 people online, rather than teaching 12 people within a classroom.

“The great work will go on and with the support of our partners and the message is very much it’s not too late to get involved.”

Mr Jones shared some positive news about the British Science Fair. He said: “We have had to cancel the fair for September but we’ve had confirmation the festival will be held here next year instead.

“It’s fantastic news as although we’re celebrating Essex 2020, it’s never really been about just one year.

“The part Essex is playing on the STEAM stage is infinite.”