Unnecessary COVID school closures have been ‘catastrophic’: Dr. Makary
Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marty Makary discusses the lasting impacts of COVID-19 policies on children and calls for an end to asymptomatic testing.
The lasting impacts the COVID-19 pandemic holds over America’s youth becomes clearer each day, presenting a crisis not limited to backsliding academic performance and declines in social capabilities with peers, but also in the alarmingly overlooked mental health plight bringing more children and adolescents to emergency rooms across the nation.
A Wednesday article from Tablet Magazine brought the issue to light, relaying Dr. Jeanne Noble’s concerns after she noticed a sharp uptick in both groups’ emergency room admissions citing “mental health distress” shortly after the pandemic first took the world by storm in 2020.
Noble, a University of California, San Francisco associate professor of emergency medicine, and director for UCSF¡¯s emergency department’s COVID-19 response, according to the outlet, observed an alarming increase in suicidal ideation, as well as signs of cutting and eating disorders from children and adolescents and consequentially advocated for a “safe way to reopen schools.”
Article author Alex Gutentag delved deeper into Noble’s advocacy for children amid controversial and regressive pandemic-era school closings, noting her presentation at the Alameda County Public Health Department in California where she brought forth ER records to make the case for considering children’s mental health and asked, “What are you trying to do?”
VIRGINIA STUDENTS BACKSLIDE AFTER COVID CLOSURES, LOWERED STANDARDS CREATE ¡®DISTURBING TRENDS¡¯: REPORT
Empty Classroom In Elementary School.?
(Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Gutentag also highlighted the urgency to prioritize COVID-19 numbers instead of calling attention to the devastating effects school closures were already having on children’s mental health, moving into a discussion of how COVID-era rulemaking bypassed the issue and pointing to alarming CDC statistics which found a 51 percent increase in the number of emergency room visits from adolescent girls compared to 2019 numbers.
MORE COVID SCHOOL CLOSURES SPELL THE END OF TEACHERS UNIONS EMPIRE
Gutentag also highlighted the detriment to children’s and adolescents’ social lives and classroom presence, which inevitably contributes to overall mental wellness, relaying a survey finding that 22 percent of students are now “chronically absent” from U.S. schools and highlighting the impact closures had on the poorest students.
Gutentag also noted that many school systems attempted to “hide their [pandemic-era] mistakes” by dismantling existing gifted programs available for students and by setting aside standardized testing which some have done, citing a more “equitable” approach.
A student listens to her teacher in a second and third grade class at Robert M. Pyles STEM Academy in Stanton, CA on Thursday, January 13, 2022. (Photo by Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images)
“The available numbers tell a worrying story of educational slippage that is likely to keep large numbers of kids from acquiring the basic skills, both intellectual and social, that they will need to hold decent jobs,” she wrote, pointing to statistics on lack of proficiency in math across Maryland (85 percent failed to meet required standards) and the even more alarming 93 percent that fail to meet these standards within Baltimore.
Gutentag also took to Twitter to call attention to the issue, writing, “The harms caused by school closures were not inevitable. Many doctors and scientists predicted these harms and urged schools to reopen. They were systematically ignored and silenced while children suffered the consequences.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
In the comments, users, glad to see the issue coming to light, applauded the piece, including writer and pediatrician Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, who praised Gutentag as ranking among the “most sane and sensible journalists” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This piece on the entirely predictable adverse effects of school closures is superb,” he added.
Syndicated columnist Phil Kerpen thanked Gutentag for penning the article with his own tweet, and attorney and Townhall columnist Phil Holloway called the piece a “current writing of what future historians will write about the era of #COVID19 and what we did to our kids¡” blaming National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Dr. Anthony Fauci and other medical experts for promoting school closures.
Taylor Penley is a production assistant with Fox News.