Psychologists are concerned about the severe mental impact the pandemic will have on the young minds, as they are still in the molding stage. Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, world leaders and health officials have made the recommendation for the general public to engage in social distancing to help minimize the spread.
As these efforts have been implemented, they have brought about a lot of rapid, continual changes as additional information is acquired. While dealing with their own personal stressors, parents are also trying to help their own children cope.
Helen Dodd, professor of child psychology at the University of Reading, said: “Returning to school after a long period at home will be challenging for lots of children. It will be especially challenging if they are expected to remain 2 meters away from their friends.
“We ask that, once it is safe to do so, the loosening of lockdown is done in a way that allows children to play with their peers, without social distancing, as soon as possible. This may mean that close play is only permitted in pairs or small groups or within social bubbles that allow repeated mixing with a small number of contacts.”
Returning to normalcy is quite imperative for a younger mind than an older one as the factor of security and comfort is quite a sensitive issue for children. Adapting to new situations might be an advantage that this age group enjoys, but it also comes with a barrage of pitfalls. Alienation from their peer group can lead to a stunted social cognition and fear of communication. Special children thrive on community therapy, which is as crucial as training within homes.
The lockdown status quo, according to Sam Cartwright-Hatton, professor of clinical child psychology at the University of Sussex, said, is impeding the emotional as well as the physical growth of a child. “All the research indicates that children’s emotional health is suffering in the lockdown, and it seems likely that this suffering will, in many cases, continue into the long term. We are urging ministers and policymakers to ensure that children are afforded substantial, and if possible enhanced, access to high-quality play opportunities as soon as possible”.
A rapid review of academic literature based on the harmful effect of isolation of children resulted in a panel formation in the UK ministry. The panel is expected to look at immediately available resources to reimburse the mental progress of the younglings.