From disorganized virtual learning to no activities like proms and after-school sports, COVID-19 has disrupted basic elements of life for this young generation, leaving many with mental and behavioral issues that could linger well after the virus is gone.
“I think about the price so many of my grandkids and your kids are gonna pay for not having had the chance to finish whatever it was,” President Biden said in a recent interview. “That graduation where you didn’t get to walk across the stage. I think they’re going through a lot these kids.”
The president is not alone in that assessment.
“It’s awful and it’s universal,” said Christian psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen. “There’s an increase in incidents of anxiety disorders, depression, suicidal ideation. Kids often don’t know how to manage the anxiety that they feel.”
Dr. Amen told CBN News it’s an impact that isn’t going away anytime soon.
“We’re going to feel the reverberation of the pandemic for at least a generation of children and teenagers,” he said.
Lockdowns and social restrictions have basically crippled many youth sports organizations leaving activities in some states canceled for the past 10 months.
While some youth sports are finally starting back up, a new study by the Aspen Institute reveals three out of ten kids won’t be returning to the lineup.
“The difficulty has been there,” Kevin Drake, executive director of Upward Sports, a non-profit that helps local churches set up sports leagues in their communities. “We know that when kids are playing video games at home instead of out exercising and interacting with other kids it can be detrimental to their health.”
Drake told CBN’s Prayerlink how sports often serve as a physical and emotional outlet.
“Kids need structure and we know that when kids are together and in organized sports that it brings that discipline and structure for them,” Drake explained.
He also emphasized a key part of the organization’s equipment list.
“Our number one goal is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with people who need it and so you put the power of sharing the gospel with the ability for churches to partner in their communities to bring kids back together for sports,” said Drake.
Meanwhile, with COVID vaccinations happening across the country, President Biden is pushing to reopen public schools in the next few months. Yet due to the pandemic, it is unclear when youth sports or anything else will return to normal.