When it comes to children who were left behind during the pandemic lockdowns, it wasn’t just school-age students who were affected.
“In the decade preceding the pandemic, the mean IQ score on standardised tests for children aged between three months and three years of age hovered around 100, but for children born during the pandemic that number tumbled to 78, according to the analysis, which is yet to be peer-reviewed,” the Guardian’s Natalie Grover reported.
“It’s not subtle by any stretch,” said Sean Deoni, associate professor of pediatrics research at Brown University and lead study author. “You don’t typically see things like that, outside of major cognitive disorders.”
For a frame of reference, the IQ threshold for people with intellectual disabilities is between 70 to 75 points.
While the study has yet to be peer-reviewed, it was posted on the pre-publication site MedRXIV earlier this week.
“We find that children born during the pandemic have significantly reduced verbal, motor, and overall cognitive performance compared to children born pre-pandemic,” the study found.
“Moreover, we find that males and children in lower socioeconomic families have been most affected. Results highlight that even in the absence of direct SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 illness, the environmental changes associated COVID-19 pandemic is significantly and negatively affecting infant and child development.”
While children in lower socioeconomic brackets were most affected, the study was conducted among 672 children in Rhode Island, a relatively affluent state in an affluent part of the United States; this being the very liberal Guardian, the outlet noted that it’s a place “where social support and unemployment benefits are generous.”
Of the 672 children studied, 308 were born before January 2019, 176 between January 2019 and March 2020, and 188 were born after July of 2020, well into the pandemic. The subjects ranged from three months to 3 years old.
All of the children were born at full term, free of developmental disorders and were mainly white.
Deoini said that the lack of stimulation at home, particularly as parents work from there, is responsible for the lower scores.
“Parents are stressed and frazzled … that interaction the child would normally get has decreased substantially,” he said.
These are the foundational years of life, he added, and it’s much harder to change a child’s cognitive path as they grow older.
“The ability to course-correct becomes smaller, the older that child gets,” Deoni said.
Is this just parental stress, though? The findings of the paper are stark and point to multifarious problems in terms of socialization and other stresses that have taken a toll on children.
Moreover, the authors said the numbers indicated the pandemic was the primary mover.
“Overall, we find that measured verbal, non-verbal, and overall cognitive scores are significantly lower since the beginning of the pandemic,” the study reads.
“Looking further, we find that children born before the pandemic and followed through the initial stages do not show a reduction in skills or performance, but rather that young infants born since the beginning of the pandemic show significantly lower performance than infants born before January 2019. Thus, our results seem to suggest that early development is impaired by the environmental conditions brought on by the pandemic.”
What no one’s willing to say here is that the lockdowns are to blame.
We’ve seen public spaces closed. Options for parents to socialize their babies with other children have been limited. Child care is closed, social distancing is a must and parents are trying to balance spending time with their baby with spending time at work.
It’s not just children in school that are going to suffer from the lockdowns. We’re seeing a roughly 22-point drop in infants, and the authors are confident the prime mover is COVID-19.
It’s time we stopped punishing our children for a disease that’s not even dangerous to them. We don’t know if this damage is permanent, but if it is, these are the children of the leftist Democratic Party, which was so eager to lock everything down this past year. They own this.
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