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Sunday, January 24, 2021

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

With all the recent talk of “trusting the experts” it’s easy to forget that the best barometer of how things are faring is almost always ourselves. After all, we don’t need a federal jobs report to tell us our neighbor no longer has a small business; we don’t need to read a newspaper to tell us our parents are ill-protected in their nursing homes; and we sure don’t need mental health professionals to inform us that our children are psychologically breaking down.

But if seeing is not believing (or if you don’t have young ones in the home), the facts recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and as reported by Kaiser Health News, should be convincing. For instance, children admitted to emergency departments for mental health issues between mid-March and mid-October have increased now over 20 percent from the same period in 2019; among the crucial preteen and adolescent age-group, the figure rose by an astounding 31 percent. To use a favorite word of government functionaries: We are in a crisis.


But, again, any attentive parent could have predicted that if — for over a year! — you deny children face-to-face contact with peers, stick them in front of a screen for six to eight hours a day, rope off parks and courts so they cannot exercise, drum into their heads that they may never be free of the killer virus, and all this while their mothers and fathers themselves worry about making financial ends meet in the home, they will start to mentally unravel.

Again, and we really must drive this point home, all of this was foreseeable. Democratic governors across America are only now publicly paying lip service to this catastrophe because the short-term effects have become too evident to ignore. What will occur long-term is not difficult to predict, either. The millions of children and adolescents, who, at the most decisive developmental stages in their lives, were cut off from the meaningful socialization that forms the building blocks of how they interact with the world, will have to play catch-up. For some of them, as evidenced by the above statistics, this will prove too much.

Their wealthy peers, many of whom were able to continue private school, will pull ahead, socially and financially. The socio-economic gap politicians love to talk about closing will further widen. Our liberal pundits and talking-heads (many proponents of the shut-down craze) will scratch their heads and point fingers. Somewhere in Beijing a member of the CCP will laugh.

This state of affairs, the draconian lock-downs, the fear-mongering, all of it, was largely pushed by Democratic lawmakers and governors. Now they have one of their own in the White House. Let’s see how well he cleans up the mess, if not for optics, then for the children.


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