Touchdown! That wail may go unheard this fall as youth sports are among the latest activities to face the chopping block because of COVID-19. As a practicing physician and mother of five, I urge community leaders to rethink their strategy. Students need to return to their classrooms and athletic fields. The scholastic, social and physical well-being of the younger generation depends on it.
The consequences of keeping children cooped-up at home far surpass the risk of the virus. While the chance of a school-age child dying of COVID-19 is less likely than being struck by lightning, isolation is eating away at the mental health of our youth and even pushing some to do the unthinkable. Last month, an El Paso teen tragically took her own life; her mother noted pandemic-induced isolation was partly to blame.
These events remind me of my challenging childhood in Yugoslavia – which was characterized by government control and the suppression of individual freedoms. Sadly, the U.S. is inching in that direction with every additional pandemic rule and restriction. I wake up every morning wondering how many rights we will lose today in the name of fighting COVID-19.
Read the full op-ed on The Center Square by Dr. Katarina Lindley, D.O. FACOFP, a physician in Texas and partner of the Job Creators Network Foundation.