Commentary

Gen Z paying the price for pandemic policies

By Meg Hansen

Increased age and chronic comorbid conditions (e.g. diabetes, cardiovascular disease, COPD) are risk factors for serious COVID-19 complications, making the Baby Boomers (aged 57 to 75 years) and the older Silent Generation especially vulnerable to the disease.

Meg Hansen

Relative to the 18–29 year old group, Boomers are four to six times more likely to become hospitalized and thirty-five to ninety-five times more likely to die of COVID-19. In comparison, the case fatality rate for children is 0.01 percent. Clinicians in Texas discovered that children are significantly less likely to become infected or spread the virus because of differences in their lung physiology and immune function.

Yet, since the pandemic broke out two years ago, public health leaders and politicians have pretended that the disease is similarly fatal to all. It has allowed them to enact indiscriminate policies – lockdowns, school closures, universal masking, and vaccine mandates – that give them a (false) sense of security and real control over society, while making the youngest Americans pay the highest price.

1. Losses in Cognitive Skills

Having determined that children do not transmit the virus or fall gravely ill, researchers were calling to reopen schools as early as May 2020. Dr. Benjamin Lee and Dr. William Raszka (University of Vermont) surveyed worldwide studies (Australia, China, France, and Switzerland) and concluded that children are “not significant drivers of the pandemic.” Yet, teachers’ unions opposed returning to the classroom and in some school districts, they also resisted providing video-based remote instruction to students.

How did it impact Gen Z (ages 5 to 23 years in 2020)? Consider the report by Bellwether Education Partners published in October 2020, which showed that three million children received no formal education as a result of school closures in March. Further, in a nationally representative survey of 941 K-12 educators, 97 percent reported academic and social-emotional learning losses in their students because of interrupted schooling. Scientists have found that a year in the classroom is associated with a sizeable increase in IQ. Childhood losses in learning thus risk a permanent decline in cognitive ability.

Most schools did not resume in-person teaching in the 2020-21 academic year. 64 percent of school districts opted for hybrid or remote models, subjecting students to further learning disruptions. Without structured routines, interpersonal interaction, and support systems that are available in a brick-and-mortar school environment, children across the nation began disengaging. Unreliable access to the Internet and low-quality remote instruction compounded the learning gaps. Education leaders predict that greater numbers of students will drop out.

2. Mental Health Deterioration

The loss of socialization, at a time when it is critical to development, has created oppressive anxiety and despair to which children have been responding with emotional and mental health crises. Last year, more children between the ages of 9 and 13 engaged in self-harm and contemplated suicide. Panic attacks, phobias about contamination, eating and sleeping disorders, and screen addiction (computers and mobile devices) have surged. In many instances, young children are losing previously achieved developmental and behavioral milestones. These signs of regression include thumb sucking, toilet accidents, poor impulse control, and temper tantrums.

Mental health disorders coexist with substance use. As expected, the rate of substance abuse amongst adolescents has grown. One study showed that the number of teenagers using alcohol increased from 28.6 percent to 30.4 percent, and the frequency of alcohol and marijuana use also rose.

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya (Stanford University) asserts that the physical and psychological damage that has been caused by the shutdowns and universal mandates “will take a generation to overcome.” The present governing class won’t be around to pick up the pieces then; it is incumbent on the rest of us to hold them accountable now.

The author serves on the Board of the Ethan Allen Institute. She previously led a Vermont health policy think tank, and ran for state-level public office in 2020.

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3 replies »

  1. What we collectively, both in the US and in many other countries are doing to children and teens is criminal. Between depriving them of school, sports, extra curricular activities and even play dates, we’ve harmed them in so many ways. Forcing children to wear masks is criminal. Giving the Covid vax to them when they are unlikely to become very ill from Covid is the pinnacle of insanity.

    Making children fear being around others. Depriving them of time spent with grandparents. Teaching them that they are dangerous and “could kill grandma “ .

    Any society that willingly does this to their young is deeply troubled. I think we will all pay the price for this in terms of the educational and personal/mental health issues they will carry with them and the rightful deep resentment they will have for those who did this to them.

  2. Excellent article. The estimates of the economic impact of the covid shutdown worldwide is staggering: Over 100 Million people plunged into starvation level poverty. Over 250,000 children starved to death in southern Asia alone as a direct result of the lockdowns according to the UN. If policy makers don’t know this (I find that hard to believe), then they aren’t qualified to be setting policy. If they do know it (far more likely), then the government reaction to covid worldwide is both sinister and criminal. This article barely scratches the surface of the devastation caused NOT by covid, but by government’s reaction to it (both domestic and worldwide). Dr. Jay Bhattacharya is an excellent source of real data concerning the impact. Here are 2 videos (about an hour each) that are eye-opening. https://youtu.be/zG7XZ2JXZqY and https://youtu.be/-zg1j7Zquoc These are well worth listening to.

  3. Please call these actions exactly what they are: child abuse and elder abuse! For over a year perpetrated and carried out by our governments. The targeted ones being the most innocent and most vulnerable. The ones we are purportedly going through all of this to protect. The sick gaming they used for this illegal, unconstitutional, plandemic psyop and genocide. Those responsible and participated in any way shape or form will face the consequences. It is our duty, not only as citizens, but as human beings to never let them forget what they have done. My father was a Merchant Marine – 1945/1946. I think about what he witnessed, what every one knew was going on at that time. Here we are 2020/2021 going into 2022. WWIII is going on, we had our digital Pearl Harbor, we are invaded, we are in a coup, we were attacked with bioweapon and psychological mind control. Is it time to stand up and fight like our brave forefathers? Is what we have worth fighting for? We must win this war or we are going to suffer even more unconscionable violations and lawlessness.

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