Generally, in terms of disease, mortality rate, and a severe economic meltdown, the United Kingdom has been immensely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Children have been significantly and unequally affected by the UK lockdown. Causing many children to miss six months of school and normal recreational activities during the initial shutdown and those that came after. Children in the UK are affected differently by the Covid-19 pandemic. The lockdown that was in place due to the pandemic in the United Kingdom may have had a beneficial influence on some children’s connections with their families. While it may have been a horror for some other children who live with a parent that suffers from mental sickness, the introduction of the vaccine and quarantine after same day pcr test or fit to fly certificate from those entering the UK has helped in reducing the rate of infection.
The sudden change of activities for children caused by the covid-19 pandemic has affected the social, academic, psychological, and emotional life of children. This is evident in some cases like; Quarantine, child abuse and neglect, family losses and separation, and in some cases, sleep disturbances.
The quarantine may have long-term effects on the mental health of young people. Forced confinement can cause irritation, rage, confusion, frustration, depression, and denial in the short term. Prolonged quarantine has been demonstrated to cause post-traumatic stress disorder in children over time. Children who already have mental health disorders are at a higher risk of acquiring these symptoms and behaviours.
Children are usually separated from their friends while under quarantine. And this is a particularly troubling condition because children’s identity construction and validation are partly dependent on peer contact. At this time of development, peer support is essential, and social isolation has a link to an increased risk of depression and anxiety, with the period of loneliness being the cause of anxiety.
Suicidal thoughts, self-harm, and eating disorder risk behaviours have all been associated with isolation.
Child abuse and neglect
Children were also at risk of domestic violence or abuse during the lockdown. Existing home tensions are more likely to increase, and new pressures are more likely to emerge, possibly increasing unsafe conditions. Overcrowding is one such pressure that primarily affects children from low-income or less privileged families. Financial instability is equally a pressure on many families. The mental burden that arises from the loss of jobs caused by the restrictions puts children at the risk of domestic abuse, especially if the ward is mentally ill.
Reporting child abuse and neglect has also grown more difficult because of the lockdown. Due to the school closures, teachers who have traditionally been the reporters of child abuse during school hours are less able to monitor pupils for warning signals.
Family losses and separation
Minors may develop a fear of contracting and spreading infections to family members as a result of being exposed to messages of loss and illness, causing them great anxiety. They are more likely to develop unhealthy ways of bonding when a family member is infected and hospitalised. And this can affect their ability to cultivate healthy relationships well into adulthood. Separation from a parent or the death of a family member is linked to an increased chance of long-term mental disorders and autism, and also adult suicide.