Before the development of vaccines and mass immunisation, the only effective tool to combat the pandemic has been the strict curtailments of freedom of movement and of social gatherings. For our young people the resulting disruption and dilution of their education and peer-group contacts is having a devastating impact on their wellbeing and future prospects. This year‚’s annual survey by the Prince‚’s Trust illustrates just how pernicious the damage is. More than one in four of our young people (16 to 25-year-olds) have felt unable to cope and over half say that their mental health has worsened. These are the worst results in the 12-year history of the Trust. Yet all the controls and restrictions are principally in place to protect our older generations. As the mantra goes ‚’Do it to protect your grannie‚’.
If we do nothing about it, the Covid inheritance to the young for their sacrifices would be a compendium of reduced opportunities greatly amplified by the impact of the country‚’s financial debt.
If this really becomes the legacy of Covid, it would be a grave injustice.
Society cannot allow this to happen. The seismic disruption that the pandemic has had on the economic, political, and social status quo provides the backdrop for a radical rebuild of our society. It is this challenge that obliges us to be visionary and to address big questions such as ‚’what society do we want‚’ and ‚’how do we achieve it‚’. Critically, we need to introduce policies that are informed by our young people and enable them to aspire to the future they want, and the future they deserve. A future of hope and opportunities.