by Nikaila Denise San Gabriel
What are the effects of the pandemic on very young children? Two years ago, people all over the world were shocked when they realized that they couldn’t go out of their homes. When interactions were limited and social distancing was practiced at a maximum. Adults lost their jobs, shop owners closed down their stores. Money was scarce and provision was not enough. Children, on the other hand, were innocent victims of this event. They don’t know what’s going on around them. All of the sudden, they were not allowed to play with their friends, visit the park or playgrounds, and not see their loved ones. Children also miss out on important milestones and may have some delays in development because they do not have opportunities to interact with not just other people, but the places and events that may help in their development.
Children as innocent victims
While the virus did not really affect children, the isolation could have long-term effects on society’s youngest members. We all know that kids’ primary need is social interaction. With playgrounds and childcare programs being closed, they miss out on chances to socialize and play with other children and with other primary caregivers. “Children are not getting the cognitive and social stimulation that they would normally get outside the home” Dr. Michelle Aguilar the head of pediatrics at Venice Family Clinic said. Many parents are still going through unemployment which means that primary needs such as good food, water, and shelter are not being met. This then results in poor health, not just physically but also cognitively.
Ways to cope
Although the pandemic took two years of just staying at home, doing online classes, and for some experiencing poverty. With society opening up little by little, there is hope. Parents are finding ways to help their children by finding work so that they can be able to provide. Schools, parks, and playgrounds are opening up. Slowly children are socializing and finally, playing.
A few days ago, me and my mom together with my little sister, Cassie, went to the mall. After two years, this was the first time that Cassie went outside the house. Her face says it all; she was enthusiastic and ecstatic. I could never imagine myself as a 4-year-old stuck in the house, not being able to see other people. All throughout the pandemic, as her older sister, it became a goal for me to make sure that she is happy and playing all the time. The goal is something that my family all shared, with my parents making sure that all our needs are met.