Examples such as these should give a clue as to why secondary schools may not reopen next week, or even at all during January. Maybe not until half-term. After all, the Government has to try and keep the population safe, while hoping the vaccine cavalry will appear and work its way through the most vulnerable. Secondary age children may be their very own superspreader group. So a short term school closure is a no brainer.
Except, it seems, for the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker: yesterday’s why-oh-why Daily Mail front page has now been backed up by yet another zero research column from the obscenely overpaid Sarah “Vain” Vine, teased at the top of today’s Mail front page, and headed “It’s madness to treat our schools like nail bars or nightclubs”. Eh?
False equivalence, much? She then gets out her king-size onion. “When we think of the negative effects of lockdown, the first image that springs to mind is that of the lonely pensioner … But for me, as the mother of two children, there’s another image, one I find equally disturbing. That of the lone teenager, cut off from friends, locked in their bedroom”.
Who’s locking them in? Anyhow, what are these teenagers’ thoughts? “Wondering what the point of all of this is anyway, since exams will probably be cancelled”. They really will be cancelled if the denial brigade screw things up again. Do go on. “Worrying that even if you do get a degree, there won’t be any jobs, since lockdown has destroyed the economy”. Three years or more down the road? Bullshit. But, sadly, there is more.
“No wonder health professionals are reporting an alarming rise in cases of depression and anxiety among teenagers. Only yesterday, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health reported a record number of young people being admitted to hospital with eating disorders brought about by the stress of lockdown … Girls are disproportionately affected, in particular high-achieving students derailed by exam cancellations”.
Sarah Vine has a teenage daughter, doesn’t she? So, moving beyond the obligatory “The teaching unions want to close for as long as possible for their own political ends”, which is yet more predictable bullshit mandated by the Mail’s editorial line, maybe we should ask who might be the bad influence precipitating any eating disorder problems.
And we can get a clue from the very next item in Ms Vine’s appallingly tedious column, where she tells “The other night, faced with yet another evening of execrable terrestrial TV, I started watching Bridgerton on Netflix. Several episodes, a pile of Quality Street wrappers and the best part of a bottle of Chablis later, I was still glued to the action”.
I wonder if, as Private Eye magazine might ask, the two are in any way related? I think we should be told.
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