Brownstone » Brownstone Institute Articles » Lockdowns and Masks Hurt Kids Even Worse Than We Thought
kids-breathe-free

Lockdowns and Masks Hurt Kids Even Worse Than We Thought

SHARE | PRINT | EMAIL

Perhaps the most obvious consequence of The Experts’™ fanatical focus on COVID restrictions was the harm to children they would cause.

Without evidence, they advocated for closing schools and mandating masks, vilifying anyone who dared disagree.

Now that there is finally some acknowledgement among those who determine “acceptable” cultural thought that restrictions on children were harmful as well as poorly reasoned, many in the “expert” class are lying about the past in order to protect themselves:

unmasked-1

After two and a half long years, some media outlets are willing to cover the tremendous damage that experts such as Anthony Fauci and Rochelle Walensky have caused over the past few years.

An interview was recently conducted by NJ.com with a speech pathologist from New Jersey named Nancy Polow, who detailed the disastrous trend in childhood development as a result of the utterly ineffective mandates forced on kids during the pandemic.

Polow described that kids are “falling behind on key milestones” in learning development due in part to a “lack of social interaction” in recent years.

Even when parents recognized developmental issues, they often weren’t able to fix them by seeking help, due to masking restrictions and virtual appointments, even for toddlers.

Now, many have turned to speech therapy sessions with private tutors, which can run as high as $1,000 per month.

Children Face Huge Obstacles

Many children aren’t speaking past their first birthdays, some even waiting until after their second birthdays to become verbal.

Polow said she calls them “COVID babies,” and that she’s “never seen such an influx of infants and toddlers unable to communicate.”

While the lack of socialization has contributed to the disastrous loss of verbal skills, “COVID babies” are also significantly slower to crawl or walk too.

Speech therapists are now working with “countless kids and parents” to try and recover some of the devastating learning loss.

Not The Only Issue Caused During Pandemic

There’s also concerns that substantial amounts of children with developmental issues like autism have slipped through the cracks as well.

A director of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Rutgers Medical School in New Jersey also said that doctors are “missing kids that should have been picked up sooner.”

These horrific warnings are a direct result of government-imposed policies that accomplished nothing of value whatsoever when it comes to reducing the spread of COVID.

Mask mandates, school closures and other restrictions didn’t prevent anyone from getting infected, but caused immense damage to children who were at little to no risk of serious complications.

One Brown University study found that learning loss was most acute where schools were closed the longest, with math passage rates significantly lower where in-person learning was denied:

Fig-2-share-and-pass

Trust in “experts” has rapidly eroded over the past several years, as Fauci and others like him have demanded universal compliance and trust, while failing at every turn to accept their own fallibility.

We’re only scratching the surface of what mask mandates and school closures have done to society, as learning loss and developmental delays can take years to fully understand.

However much trust in expertise has evaporated, it’s not nearly enough.

Concerning Test Results

Far from just individual stories however, national test results also show the horrifying drop in performance among schoolchildren.

According to The New York Times, reading and math levels for 9-year-olds have dropped to levels last seen more than twenty years ago.

For the first time since student achievement was tracked in the 1970s by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, reading scores collapsed. 

These drops were most pronounced amongst students who were already struggling – students in the bottom 10th percentile in performance lost 12 points in math, a rate four times worse than those who were more highly ranked.

Perhaps what’s most offensive about these results is the feigned ignorance of those reporting on them.

Many warned about this unfolding disaster years ago, campaigning openly for schools to be opened as normal.

Yet anyone who suggested that schools should open were accused of “racism,” “sexism,” and “misogyny,” as the Chicago Teacher’s Union so helpfully summarized in a now-deleted tweet:

Fig-3-Chicago

But the commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, a federal agency who conducted the exam and collated results, had the gall to say she was “taken aback by the scope and the magnitude of the decline.”

She continued, stating her concern that “the students at the bottom are dropping faster” than more privileged kids.

Well who could have predicted this!

Anyone, of course, who was paying attention to the actual science, data and evidence in early 2020.

The evidence showed that children were at extremely low risk of serious complications, that schools were not significant drivers of spread, and that mask mandates were completely ineffective.

But opening schools contradicted the desires of teacher’s unions, so Democratic politicians and their allies in the media did what they do best — create a false consensus of acceptable opinion that becomes unassailable.

The Times, which played an outsized role in creating and promoting this false activist consensus dressed up as science, had the audacity to mention that in some parts of the country, disruptions didn’t last as long as others, without explaining which parts of the country and why:

In some parts of the country, the worst of the disruptions were short lived, with schools reopening that fall. But in other areas, particularly in big cities with large populations of low-income students and students of color, schools remained closed for many months, and some did not fully reopen until last year.

Apparently to “the paper of record,” it’s a complete mystery which parts of the country opened their schools quickly and which forced large populations of “low-income students and students of color” to deal with closed schools for months, if not years.

Of course, because governors like Ron DeSantis focused on getting kids back in person, facing immense criticism from liberal outlets like the Times in the process, the political leanings of those on the right side of history are completely forgotten.

Political ideology has been extremely important to the Times; this is the media outlet that published misleading nonsense about how COVID deaths were related to political ideology.

Now, conveniently, political ideology is completely irrelevant when it comes to assigning blame for one of the worst educational disasters in U.S. history.

Democrats in major cities fought to keep schools closed because teacher’s unions wanted them closed. Politicized “experts” and public health authorities contributed by spreading misinformation and helping convince the unions and their members that it was the only acceptable strategy.

But that would require blaming their ideological compatriots, so it’s ignored.

Incredibly, one of the leaders of Chicago Public Schools, Janice K. Jackson, is now advocating that we put those disagreements behind us to help students recover:

“That is how dramatic it is to me,” she said, adding that politicians, school leaders, teachers’ unions and parents would have to set aside the many disagreements that flared during the pandemic and come together to help students recover.

“No more of the arguments, and the back and forth and the vitriol and the finger pointing,” she said. “Everybody should be treating this like the crisis that it is.”

But Jackson fails to reckon with reality…the crisis that needs to be fixed is a direct result of listening to incompetent experts who served as activists and the politicians they advised.

The arguments and disagreements are necessary because many still have not acknowledged they were wrong.

Until there is an admission of guilt, there will always be the continued threat of further restrictions if and when the next crisis arises.

Of course those responsible for this disaster want to bury the past. Engaging with the ramifications of their actions is not something they’re willing to consider.

But it must be dealt with, or the absurdity of mind-boggling policies like mask mandates for the flu will continue.

Yet “experts” and media outlets are still pretending, even into June 2022 (!) that countries like Japan have controlled the virus due to universal masking:

Fig-4-Japan

Simply moving on and allowing them to get away with what they’ve done can’t be the answer — there must be a reckoning with how the institutional left banded together to put ideology above reality.

Nothing can be “recovered” until that happens. I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Reprinted from the author’s Substack.

Author


SHARE | PRINT | EMAIL

Subscribe to Brownstone for More News

Stay Informed with Brownstone