After more than a year of disruptions, many parents and kids are excited about schools fully reopening for in-person learning as the new school year approaches. But there are also big concerns about safety because of the surging Delta variant. Parents have to weigh coronavirus risks against the mental and physical downsides of Zoom school.
Whether the delta variant causes more infections in kids is still unclear, according to Dr. Katherine Williamson. But with precautions such as masking in place, the Orange County pediatrician says it’s critical for kids to get back into the classroom.
That’s due to the isolation kids have experienced, according to Dr. Alduan Tartt. He’s a clinical psychologist and a child and family therapist. Today, he says that nearly 1 in 3 kids are reporting clinically significant levels of anxiety and depression. That’s in comparison to 5-7% of youth pre-pandemic.
“We know there's a second pandemic. [The] second pandemic is mental health,” Tartt says. “While our kids are being quarantined away from their friends for their own safety, kids are suffering. And so we are looking forward to kids going back safely with the recommendation of primary care physicians and pediatricians and masking up, so that kids' mental health needs can be served.”