*By Vincent Cavaleri, Contributing Writer, Mill Creek City Council, Snohomish County Deputy Sheriff
What do you get when you mix long-term needless lockdowns and hopelessness with our adolescent population? Sorry for the opening sentence, it isn’t meant to be a joke or make light of an unprecedented catastrophe, it’s meant to get your attention in the most graphic manner possible. As teachers’ unions and corrupt elected leaders in blue states continue to abandon our children, a calamity is unfolding at a level never seen before. Suicide numbers, depression numbers and addiction numbers are finally being reported.
The COVID hysteria has had a profound impact on mental health in our kids. “Infection-related fears”, bereavement, economic instability and social isolation have triggered and exacerbated a mental health crisis never seen before. Elected leaders and teachers’ unions in democrat led states seem either numb or indifferent to this self-inflicted disaster. Our young people have proven especially vulnerable to mental health issues to the COVID-19 pandemic. School closures, having to learn remotely and isolating from friends due to unnecessary and unscientific social distancing guidelines have been the prime sources of these stresses and loneliness.
As the data starts to come in, it’s not complicated to understand what’s driving this; and who’s to blame. Emergency room visits have almost tripled with adolescent mental health visits. Teen suicide is now the new pandemic, overdose rates have skyrocketed, and new addiction rates have yet to be calculated, but if drug arrests are any indicator, it’s more than any heart can bear. As of September 2020, there was a 333.39 percent increase in intentional self-harm claims in blue states emergency rooms, which is higher than any other region in the U.S. That number will unfortunately climb.
Trying to understand the rationale behind the continued school closures and social isolation measures is becoming difficult for any of them to explain away. At this point it’s readily apparent that governmental negligence is the prime suspect. Even in the face of “the science” giving the schools the green light to open, they remain shuttered in blue states. There is a callous disregard for the well-being of our nation’s young people that’s driving all of this. These elected leaders in blue states are now using these catastrophes to cover for their incompetence and indifference.
Experts are in full agreement that the stringent social distancing measures put in place, along with the school closures by the governors of Washington, Oregon, California, New York, Michigan and several other states have significantly worsened an already vulnerable population. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death among young people aged 10-24. This grim picture is not finished being painted. This mental health and addiction crisis will be felt for years to come; and the blame falls squarely on these governors.
If you factor in the way these governors treated the senior population in senior living facilities, it rapidly evolves into a crime against all humanity. Vulnerable populations that are supposed to be protected, have been tossed aside; and forced to fend for themselves in their time of need. They have become hostages, trapped in an incompetent elitist bureaucracy. Aaron H. took his own young life in September of 2020. “I’m sorry, I love you all” was all that was written on a sticky when he was found. We must demand better.
God bless, Vincent