• editor834

Letter to the editor 5, April 15, 2021

The kids are not alright!

Dear Editor,

Though I appreciate the kudos you gave to the young people of Westwood Senior High School in The Journal’s April 8 issue, I feel it necessary to point out ways in which our kids are far from being alright. In short, they are suffocating, they are anxious, depressed and many (teenagers especially) are entertaining suicidal thoughts.

Our little ones (starting in Grade 1) are obliged to wear masks all day. My seven-year-old son came home from that first day of mask-wearing March 8 with dark circles under his eyes.

Kids are feeling nauseated and dizzy after gym class because in spite of the World Health Organization’s clearly-stated recommendation that masks not be worn during physical activity, our government has declared that masks are to be worn during Phys Ed as well. Inhaling the CO2 expelled into the mask is not good for anyone, especially children with developing brains.

Two days ago a mother in tears told me that her first grader was given two warnings, which she referred to as ‘billets jaunes’ for lowering his mask below his nose to catch his breath. Warnings and punishments being given out for breathing! It doesn’t take a scientist to realize that all-day mask-wearing has negative consequences and might even be ineffective. It’s written right there on the box of the paediatric masks given to our kids by the schools:

  • Recommended usage duration is four hours.

  • Non-sterile product.

  • Remove mask in case of unwanted reaction or difficulty to breathe.

The Westwood kids did great and I bet they’re relieved not to have to spend five days a week wearing a mask.

Meanwhile, CÉGEP kids, who are at that age when being with peers, socializing and having fun is primordial, are stuck at home full-time in front of their computers. I’ve seen the impact this is having in my own family. Depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts.

Have we gone mad? Maybe we always have been. There is nothing normal about the new normal. Please don’t label people who might think critically and use reasoning skills as conspiracy-theorists or anti-vaxxers. There is nothing wrong with asking questions; in fact, ask we must! Are these measures justified? If they worked, why are the ‘case’ numbers still so high?

By the way, teachers are not alright, either. They are working in impossible conditions without any additional support or resources. They are just trying to survive. But that’s for another letter.

My own aunt died last year of COVID. No one is saying there isn’t a virus. The vulnerable must take precautions.

But the generalized measures and restrictions are causing a crisis much larger and impactful than any virus ever could. If our children are the future, then we better start acknowledging that the kids are not alright.

Nevine Shazli