What did the Covid-19 epidemic do to our children’s minds?
The British University of Oxford surveyed 8,000 students about the words they are likely to use when talking about quality of life over the past two years. The word “anxiety” came first, followed by the words “challenge” and “isolation.”
British writer and researcher in sociology Jenny Bristow said that in the early days and months of the pandemic children were not so much afraid for themselves, as they were afraid of what the virus could inflict on their older relatives, but the official narrative about the epidemic quickly turned into a “intimidation campaign” and The “intimidation project” negatively affected their behavior and psyche.
In March 2020, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reprimanded young people, saying, “Today I have a message for you: You are not immune, this virus could put you in hospitals for weeks or even kill you… The choices you make about where you go may shape The boundary between life and death for another person.
‘Anxiety’ is the word for children in 2021
Therefore, it is not surprising – according to what the writer mentioned in a report published by the newspaper “The Telegraph” (telegraphBritish – that the phrase “anxiety” will be the word of the year for children during 2021, according to research conducted by the British University of Oxford. They are most likely to use it when talking about quality of life and their experiences over the past two years, so the word “anxiety” came first, followed by the words “challenge” and “isolation.”
Bristow stresses through her experience that what children really want is for everyone to stop talking about Covid-19, and allow them to move forward on the path of enjoyment and growth, but these results are disturbing and an indication of how the “intimidation project” frames the way in which children and young people have been encouraged To deal with and talk about the experience of the epidemic during the past two bleak years.
During the ‘Summer of Humiliation’ of 2020, young men were released from seclusion and bombarded with a storm of warnings to avoid ‘killing grandmothers’ by having too much fun, let alone actually going to visit them.
Young children were kept away from their extended families as if they were “virus carriers” in diapers, and frustrated teenage and young parents naively waited for schools, colleges and universities to open and life to return to “normal”.
The researcher believes that these are only some of the “inhumane” and “crazy” measures that were imposed on children during the time of the epidemic, and they did not prove their feasibility in protecting the elderly and people most vulnerable to infection, but we do not need to look far to see their negative impact on young people.
She adds that the children’s choice of the word “anxiety” as their word during the past year, is due to the fact that they have learned that this is the correct way of feeling that has been normalized and made a non-negotiable synonym for responsibility, which is an “intimidation narrative” that adults must now resist and reassure their children that things are the way they are okay.
She sees that for most of these young people, the impact of the epidemic has been more psychological than its impact on growth, and reconfiguring that shared educational experience that we used to take for granted in primary schools will require effort, and these are the same tensions that are also manifested in secondary schools and universities, so we cannot To pick up where we left off two years ago and pretend that everything is normal.