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#1 Priority of All Mayors This Week

Kids and Coronavirus
Generals win battles; sergeants win wars.  The mayors of our country are the frontline leaders of our communities – the ones who get things done quickly to guarantee the safety and health of our citizens.

As such, I appeal to the mayors of our cities to immediately poll every schoolteacher and day care provider, especially those who’ve been serving children under 12, and find out which children are most at-risk for abuse and hunger in their community – and then within the scope of the law, act quickly to rally support and resources to protect/help these children too young to defend themselves.

Severe Child Abuse Spikes

According to this Pew Foundation article looking at the impact of the last recession on children:

“…during the downturn hospitals reported an increase in injuries consistent with abuse, including an increase in the number of reported brain and head traumas.”

And we’re seeing this already happening.  Notes this report March 20:

“Doctors at Cook Children’s Hospital say they believe the stresses from the coronavirus pandemic are linked to six cases of severe child abuse seen at the hospital just this week. Cook Children’s says it typically sees that many such cases over the course of a month. All of the children admitted this week were under 4 years old.”

Please contact your hospitals immediately and track this data – and ask your media outlets to report on this along with neglect and suicides, which also spike during these times.

Neglect Increases

The same Pew Foundation article notes that neglect of children went up over 21%.  School/daycare is the safe haven for many children and the only place where they receive a good meal.  Yes, we’ve made provisions for children to get meals but only if their parents are willing and able to pick them up.

What woke me up to this crisis was a conversation I had Friday with a local Boulder County school teacher.  She knew, immediately, four children most at risk when the schools were closed – two, she’s sure, are going home to a hugely increased risk of abuse because of the stress of this situation; and she believes the other two, age four and six, are home alone and likely fending for themselves.

One COVID-19 Fact We Seem to Know

Strangely, this virus has NOT resulted in a single death of a child under 10 in the world, even China – and children have been largely unaffected directly by this virus; whereas 47% the H1N1 pandemic of 2009 infections were among children five to 19 --

90+% of the deaths and serious cases of COVID-19 are elderly people with underlying conditions.  As a precaution, please make sure the elderly in your community are quarantined.

Please Consider Re-Opening Day Care Centers, Pre-Schools, and Elementary Schools

In the end, all decisions in a crisis are political.  I plead with the mayors of our country (and around the world) to look at the data for themselves and quickly react to protect the at-risk children in our communities.

Then please consider re-opening as quickly as possible, with appropriate safety protocols, day care centers, pre-schools, and elementary schools.  Of course, it is essential these children stay away from their grandparents and the elderly.

This will provide relief to families most struggling during this time and protect the most vulnerable in our communities.

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