Warning: this will not be a farm blog. If you are here for a farm blog, please skip this one, and I will write a farm blog again soon.
With this pandemic there has been a marked increase in drug and alcohol abuse. But what I am seeing recently is a large increase in the numbers of babies born drug addicted, and many subsequently abandoned by their parents.
Also with this pandemic there are more mental health issues and less access to care. What I am seeing is more children with suicide attempts and ideation. But since the local child psychiatric units are overwhelmed, these children must wait in the emergency department or on the medical ward for a bed to become available. Sometimes one does, but many times one does not and they end up going back home with outpatient counseling services, which is not ideal.
There are longterm effects of this virus in children too. I have seen children with prolonged deranged senses of smell and taste to the point that they do not eat and starve. We have had at least one case of MIS-C (Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children) in our small county which can have longterm cardiac consequences.
I know that the initial response to this pandemic was poor. I think it is OK to be upset about this but not to dwell on it. We all could have done better with our physical distancing (I hate the term social distancing) and our support for each other. But we can all learn and do better. If not for ourselves, our families or the vulnerable in our communities, than for the children. Because they are going the have the longest lasting consequences of this virus. It is going to be a while before a vaccine can get our lives back to normal (if ever), so we need to physically distance to slow its spread, and we need to support our own and other’s mental health in the meantime. This virus is deadly (and disabling) but it is not smart. We can be.