Children were forgotten by policymakers during Covid lockdowns because they rarely got seriously ill from the virus itself, a report from University College London has found. The Telegraph has the story.
Infants, children and teenagers endured numerous lockdowns during their most formative years, despite accounting for a diminutive proportion of Covid hospitalisations and deaths.
A group led by University College London (UCL) found that because the elderly and vulnerable were more likely to get sick and die, the development and well-being of children were deprioritised.
UCL scientists created a paper looking at the impact of the coronavirus global health emergency on children worldwide, specifically in England, Brazil and South Africa.
It found that politicians did not consider children and young people a “priority group” when English lockdowns were enforced. Large policy gaps were created as a result of the ad hoc and ever-changing nature of the lockdowns, which the scientists say disproportionately affected children.
The impact of lockdowns on children and the knock-on effects are expected to feature heavily in the Covid inquiry which last week heard from ex-Prime Minister David Cameron and former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
This week Matt Hancock – the Health Secretary when Covid emerged – will give evidence, as will Nicola Sturgeon.
The report found that childhood access to food, education, the internet and playtime was curbed, and schemes to fix the flaws “took too long to be equally implemented”.
“What is apparent is that the voices of children and young people in England were mostly ignored during the pandemic as this age group was not considered as a priority nor ‘at-risk’ from a public health perspective,” the report states.
“In a context where the response to COVID-19 has been driven by science but also politics, strategies and policies in the future need to adequately consider, and include, children and young people’s priorities.
“Children, young people and the most vulnerable of this group need to be engaged more thoroughly to tackle resilience and social justice.”
They add that the impact of closing schools and keeping children inside their homes for days on end will be felt for decades and in myriad ways, many of which will not be apparent for years to come.
“The impact of the pandemic [sic] will have detrimental consequences for children and young people in the short and long-term, with many not yet visible,” the report said.
“It will have continuing consequences for their future in terms of professional life trajectories, healthy lifestyles, mental well-being, educational opportunities, self-confidence and more besides.”
Many children before Covid did not have computers at home as all education was done in schools and it is estimated that a quarter of children had no internet access during Covid.
This not only impacted their education but also their social sphere and shut them off from the world outside their home.
Why do they insist on blaming the ‘pandemic’ when what they mean is the lockdowns and school closures? It wasn’t Covid that closed the schools. It was the Government.
Worth reading in full.