The lockdown's devastating impact on children

Published October 1, 2020

By Brian Balfour

The coronavirus has statistically been found to have very little impact on children. But the lockdowns have been especially cruel to our youth.

Shutting down things like public parks, sports leagues, and schools has deprived them of much-needed peer social contact; and has denied them activities that enrich their childhood experience. These are months they’ll never get back.

But sadly, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. As this report in North Carolina Health News reveals, the lockdowns could have devastating long-term effects on our children.

“Child advocates are worried that increased hardships due to the coronavirus pandemic could have long-term negative physical and mental health impacts for kids,” the article starts. Of course, this sentence needs to be corrected to say that the lockdown is what will cause the negative impacts.

The lockdowns have caused spikes in unemployment, economic instability, inability to pay rent and elevated food insecurity, all factors driving up household stress levels. “Elevated stress in the home is often a predictor of abuse,” the article notes. And making matters worse, “Because child care centers and schools have been closed, there are fewer people to detect and report signs of abuse.”

The article continues: “Neglect, abuse, food insecurity, homelessness and substance abuse in the home are a few examples of what experts call Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), which have been shown to increase a person’s risk of developing mental health problems. Another study found the higher a child’s ACE score, the more likely they are to be incarcerated later in life.”

Such stressful experiences can also lead to physical health problems in adulthood.

“Children with a higher number of adverse experiences are also more likely to grow into adults with physical health problems such as cancer, high blood pressure, liver disease or diabetes, according to a groundbreaking study conducted in the 1990s by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente,” the article adds.

Thanks to the government lockdowns to supposedly combat a virus which poses lower risk than seasonal flu to children, we are setting up these same children to suffer higher rates of mental and physical health problems in their adulthood.

And, as I noted in a previous article, the lockdown’s impact on our young people is already reaching heartbreaking levels. A disturbing 25 percent of young adults nationally age 18-24 have considered suicide in the past 30 days, as reported by Politico recently, a rate significantly higher than past surveys.

Gov. Cooper’s lockdown has been more strict and longer-lasting than most states. The longer the lockdown, the more our children suffer – not just now but well into the future.

Will anybody ask Cooper or Cohen about the steep price being paid by our children as a result of their lockdown?