An often quoted phrase that we hear in connection with children is: “Children are our future.”
As a mother of a 7-year-old daughter I fully agree to this. But what children have been facing ever since the Covid-19 pandemic started, is a very long list of waivers.
All activities immediately being cut out of children’s lives
With the infection numbers rising worldwide, children had to bear a lot. First, most activities such as sports training like soccer or music classes were stopped. Then they had to wear masks and keep their distance to their friends. And then they were unable to see their friends “in real life” because schools were closed due to lockdowns and all school activity was moved into virtual classrooms, which left absolutely no space for interacting with each other during class. That is only the side of schooling. What about children, of low-income families? Low-income families, who live with more people in a flat than there are rooms available. Families, where children have no space to themselves. Families, where domestic violence became more visible during the pandemic, due to stressed out parents. What about those children? Do they receive any support?
Do you know the number of foster children due to Covid-19?
When we talk about what children had to live without during the pandemic, we must also talk about those children who lost their parents to this disease. Between March 2020 and April 2021 approximately 1.1 million children worldwide have lost at least one parent or a grandparent taking care of them. When you look at the number per se compared to the world population, that surely doesn’t look like a high number. But for those children losing a parent, this is hell on earth. No matter how old you are, losing a parent is a very tough situation, even when you are an adult. Now imagine this situation for children, losing their parents at a very young stage of their life, without being able to say goodbye, because their parent was hooked up on a ventilator in the Covid-19 ICU. This experience will affect their life forever. And no child should actually face this experience.
Help children to stay mental sane!
It is absolutely indispensable that children also have access to help. At school, in their family, from their parents. The number of children needing therapy to overcome a PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) due to Covid and its aftermath will rise eventually. But are there enough therapists dedicated to children? Are there enough therapy places available for children? Even before Covid-19, the waiting time for adults until a suitable therapy place was available was very long (average waiting time in Germany: 6 months before Covid-19). Now is the time to take care of providing children with the necessary support services. When they are adults, it may be too late.
Give those children a chance for a happier life after Covid-19, because they are our future!
The opinions on this blog are of the authors themselves and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of ELfR.