Let’s Talk About the Kids

Posted on March 18, 2020


Coronavirus appears to be kinder to children than to adults. For a reason we still don’t know, fewer children contract the disease. Many of those that do have few or even no symptoms. Many ride through the virus without even knowing they have it at all.

But Covid-19 is devious. It spares the children but leaves them vulnerable to a society that often fails them. When schools close, These kids lose food, healthcare, and physical well-being. Covid-19 manages to do damage without even making them sick.

By any standard, we are a wealthy country. Yet, thirty million schoolchildren In the US are eligible for free or reduced price school lunch. Over 12 million are eligible for free breakfast. In New York City, 70% of schoolchildren are able to eat because of free lunch programs. For many children, this amounts to the only food they will eat all day.

Seeing the school nurse may not seem like a big deal, but, along with eye and hearing exams conducted in the schools, it’s the only medical attention many children get.

More and more schools now have washing machines, so that children can have clean clothes to wear to school. I don’t know if any schools bathe kids, but I suspect some might.

This is a the huge safely net that is lost when schools close. In order to save lives from disease, we put other lives, the ones less susceptible to that disease, at risk. If the virus had a consciousness, it would be sitting back and laughing.

The good news is that school systems around the country, charities, and private citizens are trying to deal with this overwhelming issue. The trillion dollar Corovavirus relief package may include some money for food for kids.

No Kid Hungry is a large organization that advocates for children. You can donate on their website and also give you an opportunity to make your voice heard. There are a lot of small groups listed on Charity Navigator that do the same work.

Donating to food banks is critical at this time. Because people are out of work, there is no income. Because children are out of school, there is no free breakfast or lunch. I have a personal request to those who swept through supermarkets and scored carts full of canned goods and packaged goods. Perhaps, now that you have seen that Covid-19 has not destroyed the trucks that bring food to markets nor the fuel that fills those trucks, you know that the markets will stay open, food will be available, and you won’t be in danger of starving. Maybe you can thus spare a few of your canned and packaged goods to donate to a food bank.

Children are a society’s greatest resource. If we fail them, we fail our own future.

Posted in: food, illness