Speaking on the third anniversary of the lockdown, marked as a National Day of Reflection, Councillor Lezley Picton paid tribute to the sacrifices by Shropshire residents.
She said it was first and foremost a time to remember the people of Shropshire who lost their lives to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Their loss is still felt with grief by their friends, family and by the wider community," she said.
"It is now three years since the first lockdown and what followed shaped all of our lives in ways we could not have anticipated.
"I will never forget the sacrifices that Shropshire residents made to keep us all safe and the community spirit that emerged as we stepped up to take care of each other."
Councillor Picton said that many of her Shropshire Council colleagues and partners, including the NHS, were key in the effort and kept the county going while many other things came to a standstill.
"So many unsung heroes went the extra mile to do their jobs in extraordinary circumstances, as well as taking on unfamiliar roles," she said.
"Three years on, I now appreciate even more the simple things that I once took for granted, like hugging my family and spending time with my friends."
The council leader said that the effects of the pandemic lockdowns were still with us today, such as enormous extra pressures on the health and social care systems and challenges for businesses such as those in the hospitality sector.
"Life has, in so many ways, returned to normal but the mark that the pandemic has left on us, our services and our economy will continue for some time," she said.
"However, it has also shown how things can be done differently and we are embracing these opportunities wherever possible.
"Today we should remember that the recovery from the pandemic continues and the best way we can do this is to make sure Shropshire has a healthy population, a healthy economy and a healthy environment, supported by a well-run and efficient council."