Irish poet WB Yeats wrote about sailing to an imaginary Byzantium because it was “no country for old men”. The pandemic has proven that the United States is not a country for young people.
A new Centers for Disease Control study shows how much teenagers have suffered from COVID policies – which the CDC itself pushed.
Many of us have lamented the terrible damage done to younger children by school closures and mask requirements – years of learning lost that may never be made up for. Now we learn that the isolation and anxiety that has accompanied school closures has taken a heavy toll on youngsters.
The CDC found that more than a third of the U.S High school students reported poor mental health during the pandemic. Almost half – 44% – said they felt sad or hopeless. A staggering nearly 20% said they had seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months.
The lifeline for those who survived unscathed? According to CDC data, it’s obvious: a sense of “school attachment.”
Teens who felt connected to both adults and their schoolmates were far less likely to experience these feelings of sadness or despair: 35% versus 53% versus 26% of those who didn’t. And when it comes to actual suicide attempts, 6% of those who felt connected did attempt it, versus 12% of those who didn’t.
These kids were twice likely to attempt suicide when they felt separated.
It turns out that feeling connected to your friends and teachers is actually a matter of life and death. This is obvious to any parent of a teenager, and indeed anyone who remembers being a teenager.
And — more news about the obvious — school closures played a major role in destroying those feelings of connectedness, paving the way for the depression epidemic that is now sweeping our children.
The CDC acknowledged this, if only superficially, in its findings report. What she doesn’t admit is her own role in creating this epidemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created traumatic stressors that can further erode the mental well-being of students,” tweeted the facility’s acting Deputy Principal Director, Dr. Debra Houry, on the new dates.
But these “stressors” were created in large part by the CDC.
Remember that the agency served as the legitimacy body for a series of absolutely disastrous public health measures. Of these, school closures could prove to have the worst and longest-lasting consequences – consequences borne by the most vulnerable among us, our children.
That the panel has worked with educators like union boss Randi Weingarten and granted the American Federation of Teachers the power to weaken their reopening guidelines adds to the shame and proves beyond a doubt that their decisions had nothing to do with public health and everything, what has to do with power politics.
Power politics, it must be noted, is aimed at those without a direct electoral vote and economic strength to speak of.
Not to mention the fact that the actual risks of COVID for young people – which are statistically negligible for those under the age of 18, barring serious comorbidities – have been consistently overstated by the relevant health authorities.
The CDC, which uses distant, clinical language to blame school closures as the cause of this mental crisis, is like a serial arsonist soberly pointing out that the fires it has started have reduced the area’s supply of affordable housing.
All without the slightest hint of an apology.
However, this is the standard workflow for our public health facility. Officials have failed to acknowledge the multiple mistakes made by the CDC and others (on surface disinfection, air travel, and many other issues). Not to mention any admission of responsibility for the social damage caused by the policies they endorsed – policies often referred to in the vile language of therapy as “leadership.”
All of this suggests that if we parents want our children to be both physically and mentally healthy, we must loudly, ceaselessly, and publicly demand that the CDC be held accountable.
There can be ugly consequences. Daniela Jampel, a NYC mom who dared to interrupt an Eric Adams press conference When asked why the mayor didn’t end her insane, cruel mask mandate for children ages 2 to 4 as promised, she was fired from her job in the city almost immediately afterwards.
But the people who did this to our children are still in positions of power and influence. The next time a health crisis occurs, they will try again.
don’t let her
Sam Munson is a member of the editorial board of The Post.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/05/the-cdc-created-a-depression-epidemic-in-our-teenagers/ The CDC has created a depression epidemic in our teens