Children and the Legacy of COVID Policies

By | 9th November 2022

Another day, another report revealing the damage from COVID policies to children and their development.

A BBC study has found a 10 percent increase in the number of 5- and 6-year-olds in England requiring specialist speech and language support in the last year. This is the group whose pre-school experiences were most disrupted by pandemic restrictions on social interaction. The increase is even bigger in Scotland, which had more restrictions for longer.

These pupils join a waiting list of over 65,000 children under 18 referred for specialist help. The same study reports primary (elementary) schools adapting classroom teaching to help a much larger number of children whose lagging development is affecting their learning. They are struggling with basic skills like understanding instructions, taking turns and negotiation.

These findings add to a growing body of evidence about the negative impact of policies that enforced social isolation and promoted face coverings…

Some children, though, may not recover the losses from pandemic restrictions. The psychological evidence is uncertain because of the ethical constraints on experiments with humans. However, it seems that there may be critical periods in development. If learning does not take place at that time, it may not be possible for it to happen later.

This question, and others, could be investigated by a large-scale study to monitor the children of Covid over the next 20-40 years. The UK has long experience with such studies and a wealth of data from previous generations for comparison. The biomedical lock on previous COVID research funding does not, however, inspire much confidence that such an investment will be made. Today’s children may not even have the consolation that their suffering had yielded some scientific benefit.

A Social Science Space blog

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