COVID-19 is negatively impacting our youth

Zariyat Hossain is high school Sophomore at Highlands Ranch High School located in Colorado

Last week a young man sent me a study he had conducted on the impact of remote learning on high school students. This young man is a sophomore at Highlands Ranch High School in Colorado. He was previously in the Puyallup School District here in Washington.

Zariyat Hossain, used the power of the Internet to survey high school students on how “high schoolers’ lives have been impacted by COVID-19.” He conducted surveys using social media platforms popular with high school students: Instagram, Snapchat, Discord and Reddit. His survey drew responses from 352 respondents in a week. Some of the aspects of life he measured were, physical activity, screen time, academics, summer plans and emotional status before and after the quarantine.

His findings were as follows:

  • Not surprisingly, high schoolers’ screen times had increased 50. 8 percent

  • While screen time increased, time spent on academics decreased

  • Time spent on physical activity decreased

  • Overall emotional state was negatively impacted

  • 56 percent of students said remote learning had a negative affect

  • 67 percent said the quarantine had a negative effect on their summer plans

  • 46 percent said increased screen time had a negative affect

  • Overall 63 percent of respondents said the quarantine had a negative affect


The long-term impacts on our society are likely to put an entire generation of young people at a disadvantage. Shutting down schools and moving to virtual learning is not a good alternative.

Many people have begun to question the wisdom of shutting down the economy and closing schools in response to the global pandemic known as COVID-19.

When this all began, no one really knew how to treat it or what the impact would be. Given the uncertainties it seemed that it was wise to mandate the drastic steps taken to limit, if not reduce the impacts of this disease.

Much has changed since March, when panic overtook reason. Four months back conservative commentator Dennis Prager said, “It is panic and hysteria, not the coronavirus, that created this catastrophe.” The catastrophe he was writing about is the collapse of the economy. The destruction of small business and the shuttering of schools. Prager’s words appear to be prophetic.

Last week we looked at the real impact of the disease on the population in total. What is obvious is the early projections of overwhelming the health care system have never materialized. In Seattle, the US Army’s emergency hospital, set up in Century Link Field, shut down after 30 days without treating even one patient. At the time Governor Inslee said, “Don't let this decision give you the impression that we are out of the woods."

Now Governor Inslee’s continued efforts to keep the economy and the schools shut down has become far more political than preventative. It is also far more damaging to the rural portions of the state than it is to the metropolitan areas. In his most recent column on the issue, Prager says there is no leader more dangerous than, “a fool with unlimited power.”

Inslee’s iron grip on the states emergency powers act is beginning to make him look like a fool. He has continually refused to call the legislature into session over the issue.

Newspapers across the country are reporting on the high failure rates of small businesses. The Chicago Tribune, recently reported that many small business closures will never get reported because they have no debt and so will not file for bankruptcy. They simply cancel their utilities and shut down.

Rural communities in Washington state are disproportionally hit by Inslee’s COVID reopening phase system. As a result, it will take years for those local economies to recover.

More significantly, closing our schools puts our young people at risk emotionally as well as educationally. Parents are not professional educators. And like many of these programs, the negative impacts are hardest on the poor.

In a survey done by the Cashmere School District this summer 70 percent of parents wanted their children back in the classroom. The School District is prohibited from reopening by the Chelan County Health District until the incidence of infection drops below 75 cases per thousand. A goal that is unattainable with the sparse population in the health district.

As I reported last week, the statistical measures fanning this dictatorial firestorm are fundamentally flawed. The decision is not based on mortality rates or even hospitalizations but on the number of people who have tested positive. Many of these cases are known to be asymptomatic.




Zariyat Hossain is high school Sophomore at Highlands Ranch High School located in Colorado. He has participated in many clubs such as, Ski Club, Soccer Club, Intermural Basketball, and Intermural Volleyball. Zariyat has been a part of athletic teams ranging from Summer Basketball to High school soccer to club soccer. He has interned at M2 Traffic Management LLC, a data analysis and analytics company. Zariyat was elected as a member of student government for senate to help make decisions for the school. During Zariyat’s freshman year, he was nominated for the national leadership forum of medicine. As he goes into the rest of his education, he plans to be a physician.







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