Johns Hopkins researchers say that adolescents and children are less likely to experience the complications of COVID-19, but this novel coronavirus pandemic has significantly affected the lives of adolescents in more than one possible way. Following the social distancing protocols and the closure of schools could more than just a challenge for them.
Director at the Johns Hopkins Center for Adolescent Health, Tamar Mendelson, and a researcher from the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Beth Marshall joined MBA/MPH scholar Samuel Volkin for discussing the influence of the coronavirus outbreak on adults, and how would it be controlled.
The biggest influencing factors originate from closing the schools, sharing a house with other family members, and meeting friends. Contrary to adults, adolescents have different types of social needs because they are in an age where they need more social interactions than older adults.
The growth phases of adolescents include the development of empathy skills and a feeling of self-identity. Together, these two tasks could take place while they interact with other adult peers. The complete disconnection and breakage of links from the outer world will have its own consequences. Thus, it would affect their social set up and gatherings.
Some implications while returning to social settings. These schools are considerably more just an educational place. In fact, they have started considering the return of these students with educational and societal drawbacks as a problem in their personality.
It is significant for these adolescents to realize that COVID-19 affects them differently as it affects adults. Some adolescents are much more emotional, they consider themselves more emotional as a person while regarding other people around them as logical and goal-oriented.
This will impact which type of knowledge and information is being told to them. It should also be considered that how adolescents develop empathy and kindness. It is necessary to provide them good reasons for that which could eventually help their role in the community. For example, it is necessary to explain that why should they wear a mask while being in public is important for others, or encourage them to write thank-you notes to the local healthcare staff and connect frontline workers.
For those who have direct access to the internet and computers can connect to new friends through online forums and say what they want to talk about while maintaining a social distancing.
Spending more time with their families has its own type of growth-related benefits. As a family, it is easy to start new things which probably they have never done before. During this lockdown, they are given this opportunity to start all over again and spend more time in family bonding.
Youth development associations such as Harlem Lacrosse and Heart Smiles, are trying their best to help youngsters during the COVID-19 pandemic to improve their social and communal bonding. Despite the fact that both of these programs require personal training, they are all set to shift their operation online and connect to more people.
Such innovative projects are an opportunity for people who need social support groups to maintain their mental health during this coronavirus lockdown period.