The Unseen Scars: The Impact of COVID on Our Children
As the founder of Rational Ground and author of "Gone Viral: How Covid Drove the World Insane," I've spent countless hours analyzing the effects of the pandemic on our society. One of the most heart-wrenching aspects has been the impact on our children. In this post, I'll share statistics, anecdotes, and personal stories that illustrate the profound consequences of COVID on our youngest generation.
Education has taken a massive hit during the pandemic. According to one study, educational attainments have been set back a decade1. The risk of COVID for young children is 100,000 times lower than for someone at the average age of death (roughly 80 years old)2. Yet, we've subjected our children to unprecedented restrictions and disruptions in their lives.
One of the most disturbing statistics is the 250,000 cases of child abuse that went unreported during the lockdowns3. School administrators and teachers, who often catch these cases, were unable to do so due to school closures. The impact on children's mental health has been equally devastating. One quick side anecdote: a Palm Beach therapist reported a significant increase in speech delays among children during the pandemic4 - we’re seeing that in San Diego and with our own children.
The emotional toll on children is evident in the story of a 5-year-old girl whose mother shared her experience5. Once a happy and outgoing child, the girl became sad, withdrawn, and irritable due to the lockdowns. This story is just one of many that can be found on CovidStoriesArchive.org6, a website we helped launch to document the human impact of the pandemic.
Teenagers have also suffered immensely. They can articulate their feelings and work through them in therapy, but the damage is still profound. The pandemic has left them with burdens they should never have had to bear.
The impact on our youngest children is inexcusable.
The economic consequences of the pandemic have also affected children. An estimated 150 million people have been forced into extreme poverty, with 8 million Americans pushed into poverty8.
The media has played a significant role in perpetuating fear and hysteria during the pandemic. Clickbait headlines and sensationalist reporting created an environment where rational discussion and evidence-based decision-making have been sidelined.
It's essential to recognize the damage done to our children and work to repair it. We must prioritize their well-being and ensure that they have the support and resources they need to recover from this once-in-a-century human-made fiasco