The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis has hit children on multiple fronts. Many have experienced social isolation during lockdowns, family stress, a breakdown of routine, and anxiety about the virus. School closures, remote teaching, and learning interruptions have set back many at school. Some parents have had job and income losses, creating financial instability—and exacerbating parental stress. Thousands of children have lost a parent or grandparent to the disease.
It is unusual to have so many challenges at once, and for so long. As vaccination rates rise and restrictions are lifted, the looming questions for this generation is: What will the long-term effects of the lost year be?
Psychologists and researchers say that the more major traumas and stressful situations a child experiences, the deeper the impact will be. “The children most at risk for mental health problems are those who have a history of them,” says Rebecca R. Berry, PhD, clinical associate professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Child Study Center, part of Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone. Children who have an existing condition, such as anxiety or depression, are at risk for worsening symptoms.
Read more from The Wall Street Journal.