Younger people and the pandemic


Sir, – Prof Molly Byrne and Prof Gary Donohoe deserve to be praised for their important article in your newspaper highlighting the potential damage of the Covid restrictions on young people, namely those aged 15 to 25 (“Branding young people as ‘Covid delinquents’ is not helpful”, Opinion & Analysis, November 23rd).

Studies referred to by the authors suggest that people in this age bracket have a developmental need to interact socially, and that when this is not possible, longer-term developmental consequences may result.

I am neither a psychologist nor a person in that age bracket, but it is clear to me that social interaction for those aged 15 to 25 is absolutely critical; that its absence is more intensely felt by people in that age bracket than in older ones; and that the adverse consequences of such absence, particularly when it is prolonged, may be long-lasting.

Indeed, I would suggest that most people who have lived through these important developmental years would recognise the reality of these propositions.

It is no longer acceptable simply to acknowledge the potential damage being done to a whole generation of young people and to commend them for the sacrifices they have made this year. After nearly nine months, it is time for the Government, and other appropriate agencies, to put forward concrete and creative proposals to enable young people to resume, at least to some extent, their normal social and recreational activities which are so fundamental to their healthy development and sense of well-being.

Surely, we can no longer simply comment on the ongoing damage being done to young people and do nothing about it? – Yours, etc,


Dublin 6.