Today's Student's Worst Psychological Damage

We’ve all  heard the arguments for opening up the schools next semester.   Many who advocate for opening maintain that another year of isolation would engender irreparable emotional damage to children, to say nothing of irredeemably stunting intellectual growth.

Time for  a hypothesis: I’m going to ask you to imagine two, say, eight- year-olds living today in the midst of the worsening pandemic. Student One has stayed home for a year waiting for the development of an effective vaccine. Student Two has been returned to the classroom.  Clearly,  Student Two, for the year. will enjoy better emotional and intellectual health.

Now let’s picture the two  students about, say, thirty years from today. And compare them.

Student One looks back to the year of not attending a classroom.  Student One is recalling how–along with millions of others– a year  passed  devoid of direct interaction with teachers and fellow students.  Slightly scarred emotionally, Student One  reminisces about   the exile with a rueful sigh of nostalgia.  Intellectually, though playing academic  catch-up later,   no serious ground has been lost  today  after three decades..

Student Two recalls that,  she did indeed get infected.  And as  the advocates for opening had  predicted, she suffered no symptoms.  Trouble is, the classroom’s teacher relinquished her life to Covid-19.  Or perhaps it was Student Two’s parents  and/or her grandparents who became  fatalities of the plague. Now, 30 years later, Student Two wonders if…and is plagued by guilt.  It is Student Two who has been  traumatized and who is burdened by permanent psychological damage.

Now please consider which of the two students stands a stronger probability of severely enduring emotional devastation.

Sure you want kids back into the classroom at this juncture in history? Or will patience keep  families and teachers from becoming patients.

Filed under: Health, Science

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