The Impact of covid-19 on adolescents and teenagers
Even though teenagers understand the current pandemic scenario they are not spared from any of the difficulties we had discussed earlier in part two of this thesis. Many teenagers find that their interests and talents being relegated to the background due to cancellation of talent-based events, sports and other skill related competitions like quizzes, public speaking etc. This may not only leave them feeling frustrated but also caged and fettered.
Teens thrive on physical activity, being home-bound is certain to increase their feelings of restlessness, irritability and loneliness. The trying part of the current scenario is that there are no live sporting events to watch as well.
Another area of frustration for teens is that they have been robbed of momentous events in their life like high school prom, graduation etc., for which they have been working so hard. Even these celebrations have become virtual because of which they have been denied the small thrills and excitements of life. Their dream of celebrating their achievements and successes has been shattered.
Loneliness seems to be the biggest complaint of teenagers. Not being able to meet with their friends face to face and enjoy the casual banter seems to have a strong impact on them. Although they have more time with their families, they still miss their friends. Added to this is having to miss out on birthday parties and other social celebrations as well. Even simple fun such as skateboarding or cycling around the neighborhood has now been restricted in most places.
While one would expect more Facetime or group chats to happen among teens, strangely many report that they do not spend much time on these activities. They don’t seem to enjoy this as much as meeting friends face to face. 
Researchers also note that the loneliness experienced by youth during the social distancing phase measures for COVID-19 may affect the future mental health of youth.  They recommend preventive support and early intervention to address the mental health needs of children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
A study conducted in Italy to assess the emotional impact of the COVID-19 quarantine for children and adolescents4 found that 85.7% of parents reported changes in their children’s emotions and behaviors during the quarantine. The most frequently observed changes were difficulty in concentrating (76.6%), boredom (52%), irritability (39%), restlessness (38.8%), nervousness (38%), loneliness (31.3%), uneasiness (30.4%), and worries (30.1%). About 75% of parents reported feeling stressed about the quarantine situation. Parental stress was associated with increased reports of emotional and behavioral symptoms in their children. Orgilés M, Morales A, Delvecchio E, et al. 
On a positive note, there have been a few good things that has emerged out of this time of global crisis. Parents who have been forced to spend more time with children are learning to communicate and bond better, teach their wards much needed life skills and most important of all, how to be resilient.
Some researchers say that substance abuse has come down and so is petty crime among juveniles. This may be due to the widespread restrictions that have been enforced. However, once the pandemic is over this may take a different turn.
How to address this problem
If the governments in question do not want their literacy programs to fail, they must do more in the developing countries. It is crucial for them to come up with schemes to provide smart phones and WiFi access for children so that they can continue with their education even as the pandemic rages on.
It is also important to ensure that all vaccination, health, and aid programs aimed to benefit children need to get back on track. The focus on prenatal care for women from poor socio-economic groups need to continue to reduce the infant mortality rates. The governments in question should provide free access to mental health hotlines for children.
Parents also need to be educated on how to schedule, structure, and make time spent with children more meaningful.
Opening parks and play areas and common gym facilities with strict social distancing norms could be another to enable better socialization and physical exercise for children and teens.
Supervision of homes that have already been notified as abusive needs to be taken up on a war footing. They also need to ensure therapy follow up for children with behavioral problems. Having a committed group of professionals handling child related problems focusing on high-risk children could go a long way in helping children who need professional help.
To conclude, the high level of stress humanity in general is facing has been rubbing off on our children. This has been affecting them in areas of education, social skills, emotional adaptation, behavior and mental health. It is important to provide children the care they need before it blows out into a huge social problem.
The parents I randomly included in the study mention the very same problems mentioned in this study. This could mean that we have a ticking time bomb on our hands and unless we adequately address these problems immediately. We may have a generation of children growing up with various health, social and emotional issues as discussed in the study.
The far-reaching consequences such as depression lasting up to nine years, the back lag in education, social skills, wrong impressions formed due to social distancing norms are huge worries for the future of our children. Unless we are pre-emptive we may have a generation of children who are suffering with various mental health issues.
Researchers go on to say this generation may not be far behind the children of the great depression.
Finally, it is important for us to be aware and sensitive to the needs of our children and ensure that we adequately care for their emotional needs.
Thank you for your time
To read part one please follow this link
To read part Two click on this link
Firstly I'd like to thank God Almighty for helping me complete this course amidst a difficult time I was going through. I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to Tiger Lily and the staff of Uptrennd University without whom it would have been impossible to reach this goal and dream of mine. I thank everyone who helped me in one way of the other during the course of this study. Thank you my own lovely family for always being by my side and cheering me on. I love you all more than I can say.
 COVID is having a devastating impact on children — and the vaccine won't fix everything - https://www.nbcnews.com/news/education/covid-having-devastating-impact-children-vaccine-won-t-fix-everything-n1251172
 PsychPearls: Battling Loneliness during the COVID-19 Pandemic - https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/view/psychpearls-battling-loneliness-during-covid-19-pandemic
 Calling on the Arts to Thrive During a Pandemic - https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/view/arts-thrive-during-pandemic
 Immediate psychological effects of the COVID-19 quarantine in youth from Italy and Spain - https://psyarxiv.com/5bpfz/
From mental health to physical health.