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A Lament for Lost Adolescence During the Lockdowns

Yeshuasdaughter

You know, that one lady we met that one time.
V.I.P Member
I truly pity kids that were 12-18 during the covid lockdowns.

My daughter was fifteen when covid hit. During the prior 2 years, she had been earning more and more trust, and she was allowed to go out on the city bus, see friends, go to the mall, youth groups, library, or just explore town, and discover who she was, and how she fit into the world.

Even though I was going through chemotherapy, if I was just going to be in bed all day, she was totally allowed to go out and see friends or just explore. I trusted her, and I wanted her to have a real childhood.

Then covid hit. Two weeks to stop the spread, right?

All of a sudden, there was mass panic, and every friend she had was locked inside their house by their parents. She would knock on doors, and mothers would come to the door, forbidding their kids to come outside. Even talking through the living room window was forbidden.

Instagram became the only point of contact. This went on for two and a half years, and still continues, somewhat into the present day.

She had one friend whose parents would let her outdoors. And my daughter would travel four miles to see her, once a week. This was her best friend.

I am really thankful for church-based youth groups, because they were the first (and pretty much only) groups to open back up for teenagers to socialize and have fun. She had scouts, youth group, and went to camp, all thanks to churches, who knew that developmentally, kids need supportive environments with others their own age. They were willing to take that leap of "faith" and make changes, integrating social distancing and masking into their normal programming, but still allowing kids to be silly kids. She would come home from youth group, laughing about Nerf gun wars and hide and seek games, where the group would take over the entire church, and all the offices, as ample hiding ground.

I'm also thankful that our local archery range had a "Homeschool Archery" class every week. She was already in archery for a few years, and her skills were pretty good. The next hurdle, however, was to learn to aim with a big, stuffy face mask on. Maybe today's archers, who learned to loose without proper blood oxygenation, will have an advantage on others who didn't have those "handicaps".

Outside of those groups, however, my daughter had no prom, attended no parties, didn't ride her bike around with her friends, or just hang out with nothing to do. She didn't get to explore or just be bored and find creative ways to have fun with her peers. I guess in some ways this is good, because kids her age didn't get pregnant or into drugs, unlike prior generations. But I still lament for her lost adolescence, because those are the years that you need to be out and independent, to explore who you are, and how to fit into peer groups, how to say "No", and just have fun.

In a time where kids her age were supposed to learn independence, they instead had to stay home. Although, the positive is that they learned interdependence within a family group, and had more connection with relatives than previous generations.

I showed this music video to my daughter yesterday, and I told her, "Before Covid, this is how adolescence was". It made her jealous, because she didn't get any of that. She was laughing at all the antics the kids got into, and said she had no idea how fun being a teenager could have been.

I just hope that in college, she makes wise, mature decisions, but allows herself time to have fun, and explore what potential there really is in life and individuality. I want her to go to fun events, and make lots of friends.

It sounds silly, but I really feel sorry for the kids who are graduating, who never toilet papered a house.

Although, they got to focus on family and studies, so maybe that's better.

But you're only seventeen once.

 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Good point. For a certain age group of children, they will never be able to recapture what was lost over a pandemic that drove most of them indoors and forced to change the trajectory and routine of their lives.

It may sound petty, but I agree that it is anything but that.

I'm no kid, but the pandemic has left its mark on me as well. Left in a sense of confusion where I still don't know where to begin again. Assuming whether or not the pandemic is actually "over". In essence, I still feel "lost" too. :oops:

Odd to consider that about the only routine I have left that was not profoundly impacted by the pandemic was to come here. But even that has been impacted as well. More depression for me has meant less interaction here.
 
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Homulilly

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Reminds me of a picture a friend showed me. They were studying to become a teacher (k-12), and the picture was asking about Covid. It was something like this (I might be getting the year wrong):

When was the last "normal" school year for you?
2nd graders: two years ago
1st graders: last year
Kindergarteners: never
Pre-K: never
Pre-schoolers: never
 

Gerontius

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I took photographs when the plague landed of the empty streets and the quiet world without people.

The odd part was that, for me, very little actually changed in my life--which has my brother & I questioning why we rarely interacted with people our own age. Going to see what happens from there.

People are no longer living normal lives anyway; adolescents lost that period but then they will become American adults anyway who are so far separated from life, nature, production, families, that anything which cannot be bought with money will be foreign to them. This includes life, love, and normalcy.
 

Gerald Wilgus

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I am ashamed. My first thought was schadenfreunde at seeing them experience isolation then I recognized that it must fall so heavily on those, like me, who experienced social difficulty, yet are fortunate enough to receive social counseling. Having that stop dead in its tracks will have repercussions!
 
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Alaric593

Well-Known Member
This won't be liked but nothing in our lives changed other than everyone else changed forcing us to act differently insofar as everything but corporate behemoths were closed down. We didn't mask ourselves or child as it was known to us, and we thought it was common knowledge that children require facial expression to facilitate learning of all types. We didn't isolate from anyone we knew and they didn't isolate from us. The data was quite clear after about a month that this wasn't the black death.
 
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Aspychata

Serenity waves, beachy vibes
V.I.P Member
My daughter is very on the spectrum. Like me, she enjoyed her bedroom. My mother had a hard time with me staying in so much. My daughter, it was fine. She did many projects, and eventually she came out of her turtle shell. However she came thru without Covid. I hesitate to think how behind she may have been coming thru Covid.
 
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Sherlock77

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I do feel that youth in particular (but really anyone) has been scarred by the last two years, when life and the activities of life pretty much ground to a halt, and there are only so many years to do certain things, especially as a youth...

For adults too, the biggest thing I'm seeing in certain situations is how activities have to be scheduled now, that being spontaneous has been taken away, for example...

I'm still encountering some events that appear to be slightly hesitant to start up their events again... One big Canada Day event on Friday says on their website that they are having a "staggered" entry gate (to avoid crowding? it's an outdoor event o_O), it's a horse race that has been held for over 100 years on Dominion Day/Canada Day

But back to the staggered entry, it's a horse race which happens all afternoon, so once past the staggered entry I assume I can stay as long as I want, including the crowds... But again it's outside with very low risk...
 

Yeshuasdaughter

You know, that one lady we met that one time.
V.I.P Member
This won't be liked but nothing in our lives changed other than everyone else changed forcing us to act differently insofar as everything but corporate behemoths were closed down. We didn't mask ourselves or child as it was known to us, and we thought it was common knowledge that children require facial expression to facilitate learning of all types. We didn't isolate from anyone we knew and they didn't isolate from us. The data was quite clear after about a month that this wasn't the black death.

You must live somewhere far from me, because everyone on the West Coast, by law, had to mask and had to social distance until only the past couple months. You couldn't go shopping or to a restaurant, or anywhere. We even masked outside too. I couldn't even go to the dentist, or get blood drawn at the doctor, because I'm not vaccinated. Kindergartners had to social distance outdoors in 40 degree weather. It was that serious here.

I still carry a face mask with me to use on mass transit (I don't want cooties if someone coughs) and also in a grocery store or other place, if there's someone coughing or sneezing.
 

Gerald Wilgus

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
the past few years was hard as after her 99th birthday in June 2020 my mother suffered a severe stroke.. I traveled across the state to ease her and see that she remained comfotable, eventually getting her hospice care. It was sad to watch her slip away but I felt good about mobilizing my siblings to work together and let her die at home, and among family, a wish of hers.
 

Alaric593

Well-Known Member
You must live somewhere far from me, because everyone on the West Coast, by law, had to mask and had to social distance until only the past couple months. You couldn't go shopping or to a restaurant, or anywhere. We even masked outside too. I couldn't even go to the dentist, or get blood drawn at the doctor, because I'm not vaccinated. Kindergartners had to social distance outdoors in 40 degree weather. It was that serious here.

I still carry a face mask with me to use on mass transit (I don't want cooties if someone coughs) and also in a grocery store or other place, if there's someone coughing or sneezing.

You're correct that I don't live on the west coast. While there were some mandates in my State, the Governor had no Authority to issue such a mandate well before the Court actually ruled they didn't, which the Courts did.

I follow laws that are laws, not assertions of Authority where there is none no matter how strong the social pressure. I will not and I teach my children the same.

Granted, being in the legal field provides me with a particular set of skills to gather understanding this was the case so I didn't then or don't now hold any particular animosity to those who didn't/don't.
 
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Fino

Alex
V.I.P Member
I have difficulty sympathizing with the loss of so many meaningless childhood clichés, but it's all about levels! I can understand why it would be difficult for some people.
 

Thinx

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Covids not over in the UK, for sure. We are more crowded, like Belgium I guess, and I don't know what else but there's still plenty of covid here. Masks still required in shops and hospitals. Health guidance may not be a law, but I take it seriously.

Some say it's getting milder though. I'm immuno compromised at present too, so I just avoid any indoor social time or even my volunteering, short term , not sure when immuno compromisedness wears off. A few months?
 

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