Arabella Hastie

Children Should Not be Demonised

by Arabella Hastie, MSc “Don't Kill Granny”1 was the eye-catching phrase used by Preston Council to scare young people into sticking to the regulations back in August. Young people knew that the risk to themselves was almost non-existent. They had complied with five months of lockdown – missing out on education, exams and social development to help flatten the curve – and now they wanted to see friends in the sun. The Council and then the Health Secretary used this phrase as a deliberate policy to scare and guilt-trip our children and young people into compliance. More frighteningly, it marked a moment in the pandemic when children and young people have become the scapegoats for any increase in transmission rates. The Government2 has admitted that increasing fear in the general public was central to their strategy to ensure compliance. Still, it is low when this is targeted directly at children in a way that could scar them for life. The calling by unions and local councils to close schools early or restart them later increases the sense that children are to blame. Indeed, Sadiq Khan was explicitly saying “if the government isn’t careful, these children will pass on the virus to vulnerable people because the rules are relaxed”.3 If Granny dies or is not able to visit because you have...

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