“When the epidemic started, I was a freshman, and now I am a junior, not having online classes at home, or online classes in dormitories. I have never had a good understanding of the school city.” “Those sophomores are the worst. They haven’t started enjoying college life before they graduated.” These sentences are from a Weibo that resonated widely yesterday.
[Immediately] Multiple international organizations jointly issued a report that the epidemic has affected more than 70% of young peopleeducateMake an impact
▎Editor of WuXi AppTec content team
For those who are already working, the time goes fast during the daily commute. Once again, the outbreak has been almost two years ago. For young people in their twenties, the epidemic has occupied about one-tenth of their lives. Their best time passed quietly in the torrent of the times. For the future, they will inevitably have a sense of uncertainty.
The scientific community has coined the term “Generation COVID”. Its meaning covers a wide range, including not only babies born during the epidemic, but also students affected by the epidemic. No one will deny that the epidemic will have a profound impact on these young people. But no one knows how deep these impacts will be.
In the short term, the lower income of recent graduates may be a foreseeable result. An economics research report pointed out that in the era of economic prosperity, college graduates often have more job opportunities, and it is easier to achieve income growth by changing jobs. When the employment environment is unfavorable, it is difficult for graduates to find suitable positions for them. This means that they often have to start their careers with smaller, lower-paying companies. From the first few years of work, their income is 9% lower. It is not until after ten years of work that this gap is likely to be wiped out.
For students who have not yet entered the workplace, the risks ahead cannot be ignored. An analysis in the United Kingdom pointed out that distance education such as online courses under the epidemic will have an impact on student education. It is estimated that as of March this year, children aged 5-11 have fallen behind by 3.5 months in mathematics and 2.2 months in reading. The decline in education level will affect their future income-according to the current situation, students in school are expected to reduce their lifetime income by 16,000 to 46,000 pounds (about 140,000 to 400,000 yuan). For children from poor families, this impact will be even more obvious.
The mental health of young people is also worthy of attention. The current view is that adolescence is the age when mental illnesses are common, and the new crown epidemic has also brought additional health concerns, social isolation, and various changes in life, which will inevitably bring additional mental stress to young people. A study published in The Lancet-Psychiatry in August this year found that compared with 2016 and 2018, there has been an increase in youth depression during the 2020 epidemic, and a decline in mental health. A related review article pointed out that the epidemic has played a role in accelerating the exposure of problems in the mental health of young people.
For younger children, the epidemic will have a completely different impact. Although many scientific studies have confirmed that even if children are infected with the new crown, the symptoms are very mild. But as a social animal, the new crown will affect children in a non-pathological way. Under normal circumstances, children will master language and social skills by playing together. But under social isolation, many children have lost such opportunities. A large-scale study covering 13 countries and 12 languages pointed out that during the new crown lockdown period, if children watch the screen longer or the people who take care of them read less, their ability to master vocabulary will appear. Significantly down.
In addition, the various measures in the new crown epidemic will also affect the imagination of children. Also in the Weibo mentioned at the beginning of this article, there was a message saying, “The baby who grew up with the epidemic, Grandpa Sun wears a mask.” Obviously, this generation is the same as what we have seen. A world, but the feeling is obviously different.
Finally, it is the impact on people born during the new crown. Due to the early days, there is currently no large-scale analysis of such populations. But perhaps we can find inspiration from the historical pandemics. A study from 2006 analyzed the long-term development of American newborns during the 1918 pandemic. The analysis showed that their education level, income, and socioeconomic level were lower. Among them, the education level and income level of the new crown generation have been mentioned above. As for their future development, we still have to wait and see.
Generally speaking, from college students who are about to enter society, to teenagers still in the classroom, to children learning to speak, and even newborn babies, they are inevitably affected by the epidemic. This effect may be long-term-some scientists have classified all people born in the next 20 years into the “new crown generation”. The challenges they face may have just begun now.
But we don’t have to be pessimistic about this. Just like the video screened a few days ago, in Shanghai Disneyland, there are long lines of nucleic acid testing on one side, and fireworks on the other side in the sky. This is a unique picture belonging to this era. The road ahead may be hard to say easy, but life still needs to continue. It is not only vaccines and new drugs that can end the epidemic, but also romance and warmth.