“I kind of like these lockdown extensions nowadays.”
We don’t know exactly what long-term effects the lockdown house arrest lifestyle is going to have on the minds of people, but we have a pretty good idea, and it isn’t pretty.
University of Cambridge researchers say that adolescents developing their brains in the middle of this insanity are going to have a hard time.
The coronavirus lockdown could have long-term damaging effects on teenagers’ mental health, leading experts have warned.
Face-to-face social interaction is vital for brain development and building a sense of self between the age of 10 and 24.
University of Cambridge researchers warn depriving young people of this may lead to a host of mental health, behavioural and cognitive problems later in life.
In an editorial in the Lancet, neuroscientists from the prestigious university called for schools to reopen for young people as a priority to prevent long-term damage.
And despite being blamed for an explosion of mental health problems in recent years, the scientists say social media might actually have been the saving grace for teens during the pandemic.
The ability to interact with friends virtually may have mitigated some of the negative effects of physical distancing, they write.
It comes after official data found half of under-25s had been affected by ‘lockdown loneliness’.
Adolescence – defined by the scientists as between 10 and 24 – is a vulnerable stage in the development of a person.
On top of major hormonal changes and puberty, this is the point at which people want to spend more time with their friends than their family.
It is also the period in their life when they are most likely to develop mental health problems.
Earlier studies have suggested that high quality relationships with appear to protect people from mental health problems and strengthen their resilience.
Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, from the department of psychology at the University of Cambridge and lead author of the opinion piece, said lockdown could hamper their brain development and have consequences for years to come.
She said: ‘Owing to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, many young people around the world currently have substantially fewer opportunities to interact face-to-face with peers in their social network at a time in their lives when this is crucial for their development.
‘Even if physical distancing measures are temporary, several months represents a large proportion of a young person’s life.
‘We would urge policymakers to give urgent consideration to the well-being of young people at this time.
It means the true effects of a lack of face-to-face contact are unknown. But studies in animals have shown it can lead to anxiety and hyperactive behaviours, the scientists say.
It’s helpful to have experts from the University of Cambridge saying that the lockdown is bad for the mental health of adolescents, but it is pretty much common sense stuff. We know that the social isolation is bad for everyone’s mental health.
We also know that coronavirus is about as dangerous as the flu, and we know that there is no epidemic of cops killing innocent black males — yet we’re still suffering as if all of these hoaxes were true.
Our civilization is collapsing before our eyes because people were told that the flu was going to kill everyone and that the cops were genociding blacks.
The masses believe it.