Dr John Wright of Bradford Royal Infirmary, has been writing a diary for the BBC during the pandemic. In his latest post he said:
“Children are a lost tribe in the pandemic. While they remain (for the most part) perplexingly immune to the health consequences of Covid-19, their lives and daily routines have been turned upside down. Children in mental health crisis used to be brought to A&E about twice a week. Since the summer it’s been more like once or twice a day. Some as young as 10 have cut themselves, taken overdoses, or tried to asphyxiate themselves. There was even one child aged eight.”
The “Born In Bradford Study” which has investigated children’s wellbeing during the pandemic found that kids are increasingly isolated, anxious and bored, which is having a detrimental effect on their mental health. The result is that children are arriving at hospital in greater numbers and at younger ages after self-harming or taking overdoses.
Professor Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health told BBC News this week that: “…the pandemic has caused a range of harms to children across the board from being isolated and lonely to suffering from sleep problems and reduced physical activity.” Children’s sport is currently banned, the only exception being organised sports for under-12’s in Scotland.
The NSPCC said that counselling for loneliness provided by its Childline service has risen by 10% during the pandemic. Neil Homer, who has been volunteering since 2009, has never known anything like it. Discussing the effects of lockdown on children, he told the BBC: “It’s had a devastating impact.”
To make matters worse, treatment for child mental health problems was falling well short of the demand, long before anyone heard of Covid-19. Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield told The Guardian recently that lockdowns, “will be causing even more damage to many children’s mental wellbeing and putting even greater strains on mental health services, potentially for years to come.”
It wicked in the extreme. The Health Secretary knows this. The government and it’s scientific advisers know that children’s lives are being destroyed. Why don’t they care? Children are, as Dr. John Wright said, “immune to the health consequences of covid.” The average age of someone “dying with the virus” is 82. It has a 99.7 per cent survival rate. None of it makes any sense. Where is the media? Why is every political party in the UK supporting this assault on the nations children? Where is the opposition to this insanity?
Sunil Bhopal, an expert in child health at Newcastle University said recently that, “….growing up in a world where even playing with your friends is illegal threatens to cause long-lasting damage to many. I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say children and their families have been abandoned” he said.