Children, who are not at meaningful risk from the virus, have been nothing but compliant during the pandemic supposedly to protect others. What has the cost been to them and their families? PANDA members and supporters share their stories with us.
"The most harmful aspect of lockdowns and social restrictions on our son has been his constant fear and anxiety of what is happening outside. He has lost his trust in our society. What takes a village of professional therapists and special need programs to support my autistic son during our home-schooling journey, I am now doing it all alone! It is challenging and near impossible!" – Mother of an 11-year-old autistic boy, Canada
"Jehan, 7 years: The covid lockdown was quite sudden. I had no say in it. It took me by surprise. Zoom school was hard to get used to. There was a lot of online work. I feel I am in a prison and can't meet anyone, even my beloved, especially my grandparents. I don't know how dangerous covid is, but I can't live my life normally anymore." – Cheryl, Delhi, India.
"8 year old Maia comes home with a headache every single day after wearing a mask at school. She believes that children are being persecuted for adults making bad decisions." – Sandi, South Africa
"My six year old grandaughter has missed the majority of her first year in primary school, she talks about “the virus” in common parlance. Because we have spoken with her, she knows she is not at risk, sadly, many of her little friends are really scared." – Cherry, UK
"My 5 year old came home from school anxious last week because his teacher had told the class 'The coronavirus is coming back and it is going to be worse!'" – Jonathan, South Africa
"One of my children fell into depression because of the pressure of keeping up with online schooling and, on returning to school, the excessive rules and abusive lecturing from terrified teachers." – Nicky, South Africa
“My heart has been crushed by seeing my oldest grandson who was a high school graduate in 2020 be denied all the coming of age events that almost everyone else on the planet enjoyed at that age. Even more daunting for him is trying to get a good start on life surrounded by never ending fear and tyranny.” – Connie, USA
“Our younger son, in his final year at school, lost the opportunity to learn more, better, happier, to truly integrate and being just 15 even saw his blood pressure increasing due to a drastic change in habits to a point in which he now needs to receive medication…” – Eduardo, Denmark
“My issue is that I have lost a year of interaction with my three grandchildren, the youngest who turned two in December. This should have been the happiest time of my life, spending time with my three beautiful grandkids. Instead, I am forbidden from seeing them. If my health deteriorates further, I may never be able to recapture the lost time.” – Grandmother, Canada