The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant stress and disruption for young people,
likely leading to alterations in their mental health and neurodevelopment. In this
context, it is not clear whether youth who lived through the pandemic and its shutdowns
are comparable psychobiologically to their age- and sex-matched peers assessed before
the pandemic. This question is particularly important for researchers who are analyzing
longitudinal data that span the pandemic.
While this could arguably be placed in science, it made me think about the implications of an entire generation where the brains of children ‘aged’ at an increased rate as compared to peers prior to COVID-19 and what the implications of this might be for society. Mental health as a whole declined over the pandemic, and it’s had me wondering whether it has helped to normalize going to therapy and treating mental health seriously and not as a taboo. Has this affected how children interact with each other and their values and priorities going forward? I don’t think we can answer it at this point in time, but I am curious to follow the research and learn more from others.