The Covid-19 Legacy
Charlotte Parent|Summer 2020
How will this generation-definind event affect our children?
By Randi Mazzella

In a typical year, the spring season is packed with baseball games, dance recitals, proms, and graduations. Not this year. The COVID-19 pandemic brought life as we know it to a halt, forcing children to finish the school year from home and forgo most of their extracurricular activities. It’s difficult to anticipate what the long-term impact of this crisis will be on children, but our experts agree this COVID-19 lockdown will be etched in their memories for years to come. “But remember, this generation was already more comfortable communicating by text than in person, and now it’s all they have done for months. Some children may need a push to re-engage in healthy, face to face relationships with their peers.”

“All children will be moving forward with a great deal of uncertainty and caution,” says Dr. Gail Saltz, associate professor of psychiatry at the NY Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine and host of the podcast Personology. “They will be dealing with disappointments. For those who have lost a parent or family member to COVID-19, the grieving process will be longer.”

But there will be plenty of positive memories they’ll have from this experience, too. A deeper appreciation for essential workers and family connections are just a few of the things Generation COVID could take away from this uncertain time.

COPING SKILLS

The Stay-at-Home order has caused children to miss out on big events they’d looked forward to. “I was supposed to play at Cooperstown with my baseball team and possibly California and now it looks like those could both be canceled,” says Jake Oland, 13. Other kids have missed their chance to star in the school play, go to prom, or participate in high school graduation.

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