Three in Four Children Suffering Psychologically Post-Lockdown, German Government Says

15 April 2021, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Grambow: A seesaw stands in the empty garden
Jens Büttner/picture alliance via Getty Images

A considerable majority of children have been left struggling psychologically as a result of lockdown restriction, a German government report has claimed.

The revelation that many children have been left scarred as a result of COVID lockdown, Germany says, is met with officials now calling for measures to be taken to help those impacted.

It comes shortly after the country’s health minister, Karl Lauterbach, admitted that the country’s decision to shut down schools and daycares for much of the pandemic was probably a bad idea, blaming the move on a lack of available scientific evidence at the time.

In a press release published on Wednesday Lauterbach, alongside Family Minister Lisa Paus, further discussed the extent of the damage COVID restrictions in Germany had on children, with the pair launching a government report claiming that very nearly three-quarters children of have been left with psychological issues as a result of the pandemic.

“73 per cent of young people are still extremely stressed by the restrictions during the pandemic,” Paus said, adding that many in the country are also now struggling as a result of the war in Ukraine, inflation, as well as the so-called “climate crisis”.

Meanwhile, Lauterbach discussed the “particularly heavy burden” restrictions aimed at combatting COVID had on young people, before declaring that the German health system is now “doing its bit to help young people cope with the mental and psychosocial burden of the pandemic”.

While the press release goes on to say that so-called “mental health coaches” will be deployed to schools in order to provide support to struggling children, young people in the country may require a little more than that to get their lives back on track.

For example, a study published last year found that a significant number of children had their academic capabilities stunted by lockdown, with the reading levels of fourth-grade children in the country post-pandemic being substantially behind their pre-pandemic peers.

To make matters worse, such damage may have partly been caused by an unforced error on Germany’s part, with Lauterbach saying that the country’s decision to close both schools and childcare facilities for large swathes of the pandemic was likely not the best idea in hindsight.

Describing the closures as being “really hard” on children, Lauterbach said that the country’s understanding of the pandemic was “not really good enough”, and that there were a number of measures implemented by the country’s government that “never have happened”.

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