By Nadine Burke Harris, STAT, August 4, 2020
The world is learning more about the uncommon but puzzling ways Covid-19 can show up in kids, keeping worried parents on the lookout for symptoms of the disease. We should also be concerned about how toxic stress brought on by the pandemic, or made worse by it, will affect children’s developing brains and bodies and their future health.
In millions of households, kids are experiencing an incredible amount of stress and anxiety. They’ve lost the stability and safety of schools and day cares, and with it their social connections to friends and teachers. They’re dealing with their own feelings of fear and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus — and there is no clear end in sight.
Meanwhile, they’re seeing parents and other caregivers struggle with the emotional and psychological distress of an unprecedented pandemic. With the unemployment rate at 11% and expected to stay high, millions of children are living through the aftermath of their parents’ loss of jobs and income.