Before I began this article, I told myself I wouldn’t turn it into a wall-to-wall “We told you so!” Now, I’m not sure that’s going to be possible. Damning new data has been released that shows not only have COVID-related school lockdowns damaged America’s kids, but it created a global disaster, as well.
But first, let’s get into just a tad of the “we told you so” stuff about extended lockdowns from almost the beginning, via a few RedState articles at the time. This is just for the record.
Chicago Teachers Union Strikes a New Low to Continue Effort to Block School Openings
Whether it’s Chicago, Los Angeles, or any city where overly-powerful teachers unions continue to block teachers from returning to in-person learning, one thing is clear: unions, formed ostensibly to help America’s teachers better educate America’s children, have instead become a public menace, as study after study continues to reveal the potential long-term impact on students due to school lockdowns; including “psychological distress.
‘Mental Health Crisis’: San Francisco Sues Its Own School District as Student Suicides Skyrocket
The UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital has seen a 66% increase in the number of suicidal children in the emergency room and a 75% increase in youth who required hospitalization for mental health services, the lawsuit said, quoting pediatricians, child psychiatrists, and emergency room doctors. The lawsuit also cited doctors who cited an increase in anxiety and depression among children. This is consistent with the national data.
Virginia’s Health Records Show an alarming trend in suicides among school-age children, even though the state remains closed.
In many counties the number of visits for suicide/self-harm has gone up — some dramatically — but the most glaring stat is that of the rates of these visits. These rates have risen in almost every health area, which is a sign of strife. Because of increased fear about spreading, general hospital visits have decreased significantly since the outbreak. This is because self-harm visits are on the rise, indicating that hospital demand has declined.
However, lockouts at schools continued.
Even with dramatic spikes in suicide rates and other health issues, it is not surprising that the lockout of America’s school kids from critical in-person learning continued.
Who was to blame — and remains so? Various government bodies, Joe Biden and his Democrat Party to liberal state officials and local officials to last but not the least powerful teachers unions who fought tirelessly to keep teachers out the classroom. Sometimes, they increased their demands to meet the demands of teachers.
It is a matter of fact, but it certainly is not coincidentally, We learned from Biden that he and his administration continue to promote teachers unions. In 2020, Biden received the most money from teachers’ unions than any other candidate. Do you see the connection? I can, if you need help — which I doubt you do.
So, fast-forward to today — and the damage done to kids by extended COVID lockdowns.
In-person learning had to be stopped when COVID-19 spread throughout the globe. It was not known how the virus could infect classrooms. It was a self-generated problem that school lockdowns last for so long that encouraging data had not been available. This meant that lockdowns weren’t only unnecessary but were harmful to learning and also made it difficult to learn.
The Economist reports that both the issues and their costs are increasing.
Recent data suggests that it has caused more damage than anyone thought. Many of these children are unable to learn how to read correctly because their schools have kept them out. According to the World Bank, 57% of the ten-year olds living in countries with low or middle income could not understand simple stories before the pandemic.
It now believes that this number could have reached 70%. Latin America is likely to be the most affected region in Latin America. The percentage of Latin American ten year-olds who are unable to read could rise from 50% up to 80%
In-person schooling was missed by nearly half the children in two years. Over 60 million children missed the last three quarters. End of May saw 13 countries still have some restrictions in place on face-to–face learning. These included Russia, China and Iraq. The Philippines and North Korea had classrooms that were closed more or less.
What are the future implications?
The basic skills of children who don’t learn them will make them less productive as well as earn less. McKinsey Consulting estimates that global GDP will be 0.9% less due to closure of schools in 2040. That’s an annual loss $1.6trn.
The World Bank estimates that disruption could cause children to lose $21 trillion of their earnings in their lifetimes, which is roughly 17% of the global GDP. The World Bank estimates that this is far more than its 2020 estimate of $10 trillion. This also represents an increase. [over]It is worth $17 trillion [predicted]This was last year.
The Economist reported that an analysis by the Brookings Institution, Harvard and World Bank looked into 35 studies on learning loss in twenty countries. The average learning loss in students affected by the recession was equal to between four and six months of education in person.
Affected children also experienced learning losses and lockdown-related emotional problems. Ongoing stress, fear, uncertainty — and even grief — created by draconian lockdowns, have all weighed heavily on children and teens, many of whom continue to have difficult times coping emotionally. Worse, most or all of the harm has been totally unnecessary.
What purpose? Politico expediency, money, and power. Although the COVID lockdowns may have been recent, these three issues are far from over.