Playground Closed to Public
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

Has Shutting Down The Economy Put Children Worldwide at Greater Risk? 2019 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic

“Anything in the name of safety seems to be the slogan for society these days…

“…and now we face an enemy so small, a microscope is needed just to see it. So far, this enemy called 2019 Novel Coronavirus — which is also known as COVID-19 or 2019-nCoV — has resulted in the human race wreaking havoc among itself to the point where multiple types of disasters are being created which will not only last for years before they are corrected and resolved; but some of the changes may very well become permanent.

“If you think I am exaggerating about those impending disasters, think about people who are unable to earn a living because they were furloughed for an indefinite period of time and have no savings as a safety net. Think about all of the supplies which have been hoarded that some of the people who really need them cannot find them to purchase anywhere. Think about people who are medically in need and may have to succumb to an illness because the help they require to survive becomes unavailable.”

Has Shutting Down The Economy Put Children Worldwide at Greater Risk? 2019 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic

The paragraph you just read is what I wrote in this article which asks if we have become a society of wimps who are addicted to drama on Friday, March 20, 2020 out of concern that humanity might be putting itself at more risk with the aversion techniques than with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus itself — and although everything has unfortunately been coming to fruition in some form, it did not include the plights of millions of children worldwide.

“Thankfully, children have so far been largely spared from the most severe symptoms of the disease. But their lives are being totally upended”, António Guterres — who is the current Secretary-General of the United Nations — said in his call for urgent action to support and protect our children around the world amid the universal crisis of the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic on Thursday, April 16, 2020. “With the global recession gathering pace, there could be hundreds of thousands additional child deaths in 2020.”

According to this article which was posted at the official Internet web site of the United Nations, the global crisis is putting young lives at risk in key areas that include education, food, safety and health. Virtually all students around the world are now out of school because of the pandemic. Almost 190 countries have imposed the closures of schools, which affects as many as 1.5 billion children and young people; and it leaves almost 310 million children worldwide who rely on school meals without their daily dose of nutrition.

“Meanwhile, hastily implemented lockdown measures risk disrupting food supply chains and local markets, posing a potentially grave threat to food access”, according to the aforementioned article, which claims that 60 percent of all children worldwide are living in countries that have implemented full or partial lockdowns. “As the crisis deepens, family stress-levels also are rising, and children confined at home are both victims and witnesses of domestic violence and abuse.”

Other statistics which were cited include — but are not exclusive to — the following:

  • An increase in pregnancies in teenagers is possible due to girls dropping out of school as a result of those closures of schools.
  • The United Nations Children’s Fund — which is also known as UNICEF — and partners reported in this article that with more children relying on technology for learning and socializing, the risk of online abuse and exploitation is increasing as well.
  • Hospitals and health facilities which are overwhelmed with patients of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus means greater difficulty for children to access standard health care.
  • Families out of work — or otherwise experiencing reduced incomes — are forced to cut back on essential health and food expenditures, which particularly affects children, women and breastfeeding mothers.
  • Polio vaccination campaigns have ceased, thus setting back progress in eradicating the disease in its last two strongholds: Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • Greater than 117 million children in 37 countries may miss out on receiving measles vaccines — which may possibly save their lives — as measles immunization campaigns in 24 countries have already been delayed; and more will be postponed due to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic.


If the statistics from the United Nations are indeed true, then that could mean that the overreaction to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic may very well be significantly more dangerous than the virus itself — and those statistics only focus on children worldwide, as they do not take into account the myriad other issues which were caused by shutting down the economy that could lead to its own increasing death toll and other casualties.

This article is the latest in a series pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — which is also known as COVID-19 or 2019-nCoV or SARS-CoV-2 — pandemic in an effort to get the facts out with information derived from reliable sources…

…as well as attempt to maintain a reasoned and sensible ongoing discussion towards how to resolve this pandemic.

Other articles at The Gate which pertain to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus include:

Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

  1. The shutdowns indeed do pose a great risk directly and indirectly to people in the near-term and also in the long-term.

    But if the death tolls with this novel coronavirus had turned out to be far worse than has happened even with the shutdowns and other distancing mechanisms to slow down the spread of the virus and mitigate for the risks the virus poses to people, the situation would be even worse; and it would have been even worse for a longer period of time. And the longer the public health emergency situation remains and the longer and more intense the direct virus hit on lives, the greater the risk that we end up with even more messed up societies and political regimes across the world.

    If national governments had better (and more quickly) coordinated their responses to this virus and not wasted time with a mixture of ostrich-like behavior, finger-pointing, scapegoating and downplaying the risks it posed, this situation wouldn’t have been as bad as it will turn out to be. And now we are left to hope that increased natural light UV exposure and Vitamin D gains from seasonal change will come to our rescue in advance of any vaccine or better treatment for this virus even as this virus won’t be gone just because of warmer/“summer” weather.

    1. Not only do I not disagree with you, GUWonder; but I will add one very important note which I have been espousing for years here at The Gate:

      The pandemic would not have been nearly as bad — or, perhaps, not have reached pandemic status at all — if everyone simply properly washed their hands on a regular basis; and did not touch any place on their heads when their hands were contaminated.

      If I can do it, virtually anyone can do it.

  2. I think what your analysis misses is that if what you an overreaction did not take place, many of the bad effects on the economy might happen regardless. If the virus ran rampant through a community, even if the school is officially open, would a family be keen for their kids to be traipsing around with other people? This analysis seems to imagine the only outcomes are 1) “no overreaction, and magically individuals continue about their daily life and don’t get sick” or 2) “overreaction”.

    1. I do not disagree with you, In it together; but important to note is that you are comparing the result of an overreaction to no reaction at all — neither of which I have ever endorsed in any article that I have written here at The Gate.

      I have always believed that a logical reaction which incorporated some safety measures — such as proactive ways of protecting the people who are most vulnerable to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus as one of many examples — would have been the right direction to take.

      The problem — in my opinion — was the perfect storm of an overzealous media which sensationalized their coverage of the pandemic in their quest for increased revenue, politicians who care more about their careers and legacies than about doing what is right for their constituencies, so-called medical “experts” who disagreed with each other openly about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus and led to further confusion of the public because they did not have enough knowledge about it specifically to impart proper recommendations, and people in general who simply let fear cloud their better judgments.

    1. I would argue no additional Americans died that would not have otherwise expired from Covid. Minimum 2 trillion in lost GDP so politicians could pretend to lead.

  3. Fake pandemic, the epitome of hysteria. The chicken littles who shut down the economy have blood on their hands and should be thrown out of office this November.

  4. I am glad to see more and more big organizations come out and tell the truth.

    I was saying in January, and February and every week and month – this will *easily* go down in modern history as the most insane and silly over reaction to a minor threat – ever.

    All the kids that will die, poor people who will starve, and all the depression, suicide and years of fear and suffering. For… what?

    What did we accomplish here? Now people who didn’t die of CV can die of Influenza instead? We shut down the motor of the world – because the social justice/keyboard warriors demanded SAFETY!! As loud as ever.

    And we all fell for it.

    I’m traveling every week, like normal. And it’s utterly unbelievable what we just did to ourselves. Nice to see the UN and others finally starting to chime in on it it..

    1. When I first started reporting on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus before it even became a pandemic, George, I was ostracized about my opinions — so I did not fall for it.

      What did we accomplish here? Some people will tell you we saved lives. Perhaps — but my assertion has always been at what cost in terms of jeopardizing other lives?

      The information in this article is but one mere slice of the pie, unfortunately…

    1. I am liking you more and more, Patrick.

      See? I listen to — and always learn from — readers of The Gate.

  5. As you know, I agree with your opinions, but would never use the United Nations as my source of truth since their history, especially when it comes to a certain country that you and I care about (in addition to this one), is not good. I don’t have must trust in the WHO either, and it’s got nothing to do with the President’s views.

    1. @Barry, I tend to agree with your general concern in using the United Nations as a source – and even more so to me, in giving much credence to UNICEF. But in this case, the fact that these global organizations are speaking out-of-step with the standard “Covid-19 is bad and warrants anything to stop it ” rhetoric we keep hearing gives greater credence to the claims of just how much these excessive reactions are truly harming children, and others, worldwide.

      So very glad to see others finally waking up to the damage that the inordinate reactions have caused. Unfortunate that it is happening at least 6 weeks and trillions of dollars too late.

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