Kids are paying the steepest price
In this era of distrust, conspiracy theorists, right vs left extremist views, let me get this right (no pun intended) out of the way: I am not a Covid denier, an antivaxxer, nor do I question the lockdowns and measures our governments have imposed. I am fully on board with protecting seniors as well as those with underlying medical conditions.
But when it comes to kids and teens, the segment of the population that has seemingly been overlooked, even ignored, and who have paid a significant price because of these restrictions, I can't say I have much in the way of respect vis-à-vis the governments' measures.
You angry, bruh? A friend recently asked me. Hell ya I'm angry!!
Cancelled graduation parties, school trips, skyrocketing homelessness (not necessarily related to minors, but nevertheless ), kids RIGHT HERE in North America (not in some Third World country) going hungry, unable to get the carton of milk or snack provided by their schools. Some were unable to have the social worker support they so heavily relied on. So, yes, you better believe I find this unfortunate and frankly, unacceptable. What about rising depression in youth, weight gain, diabetes, increased time spent in front of devices, because kids' activities and sports have been stripped away from them, inexplicably?
"Son, you can't play indoor hockey anymore". "What about outdoors?" "No, they took that away too." "What about with a mask on, gloves, etc" "No, no you can't play anymore. Even if you were to wear a Bane mask. We need to protect others." "But how come professionals can play". "Because they quarantine, are kept isolated." "You mean like us?" "Yeah...you know, you have a point". "But dad I don't understand, people can get massages in small enclosed areas, visit clients (if your business is deemed essential), go to the mall (some malls with no limit as to the numbers), people are travelling to exotic places and I can't go play 3 on 3 hockey on a pond, with a mask on, hockey gloves covering my hands..." "No son, that's right." "Listen, don't try to look for a rational, logical explanation here. There is none. They claim its aimed at protecting seniors, but last I checked you can't even see any seniors, your grandparents are not allowed to see you so.....perhaps its meant to...". Crickets.
Can anyone honestly look at me in the eyes and tell me that even some form of indoor hockey with drills where kids would be spaced, 6 feet apart, masks on, no parents allowed, in a well ventilated, MASSIVE arena, is a bigger risk than some of the things that have been allowed throughout this horrible pandemic? A swimming lesson, indoors, mask on, in a chlorinated etc, is too risky? But hanging out at the mall all day, touching items is fair game?
Outdoor hockey is a risk, really?
The hard, cold truth is that children don't vote. The stark reality is its mostly political. Or perhaps a question of cost (ie: having to monitor outdoor rinks, etc).
Let's all hope that common sense will prevail this spring, and that kids' silent voices will finally be heard. If not, we will be looking back one day realizing we failed the younger generation as much as we failed many of our seniors during this nightmarish epidemic.