A good indicator of the health of a society is the health of its children. Sadly, in the US now, with the former Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director Robert Redfield saying publicly in July 2020 that deaths from suicides and drug overdoses among high school students far outweighed their deaths from Covid and failures among school children, especially high school students, is at epidemic levels, the answer to this question would have to be, “No. The children are not well. Not well at all.” And I am astounded by the lack of outcry among most of our public officials.For more than a year now, children and teens have been robbed of most of what gives their lives value and meaning – seeing their friends at school, club meetings, church groups, camps, family gatherings, singing groups, playing with school bands and orchestras. Some schools have continued sports programs, but many have not, sometimes with heartbreaking consequences, such as the death by suicide of Dylan Buckner, age 18, as reported in the April 21 edition of The Epoch Times. Dylan’s father, Chris, said he is certain that his state, Illinois’, school closures and extended stay-at-home orders worsened his son’s mental health and contributed to his death. Dylan had a 4.7 grade point average, loved playing football, which his father said helped him keep a structured routine, according to the article, “The Cost of Lockdowns.” He was on his way to college with football scholarships. And yet this year, the school system cancelled the football program because of fears of Covid. Dylan attempted suicide in September 2020 and succeeded in ending his life in January 2021. For more than a year, fearful adults and misguided politicians have discouraged children and teens from getting together with friends and from living their lives normally. Child development experts agree that peer relationships are among the most important to teens’ mental and emotional health. How could we have done this to a nation of children? For a virus that even former CDC Director James Redfield said poses almost no risk to them. He has said that the flu is 5 to 10 times more dangerous to children and that they have a 1 in a million chance of dying from Covid. Early death projections from the virus have been shown to be overstated and terribly wrong. Yet, most politicians have not publicly issued retractions and corrections to calm fears and help people, especially children, resume normal lives. Instead, they let the fear-mongering and harm remain.
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