COVID-19 Lockdowns Lead to a Failure to Thrive

There once was a time, like any other time before the year 2020, when people would have been ashamed to openly boast about abandoning their aging parents during the holidays.

But broadcasting plans to ditch ailing mothers and fathers for Thanksgiving is the latest in COVID-19 fashion. Thanks to more heartless, cruel guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and outlandish orders issued by tyrannical governors of both political parties, families are planning to forego holiday traditions to avoid infecting each other with the virus.

“I already canceled Thanksgiving and Christmas with my 91-year-old mother because I DON’T WANT TO KILL HER,” left-wing pundit John Aravosis declared on Twitter. Dozens of his followers chimed in to announce similar plans. 

Arne Duncan, Barack Obama’s education secretary, after disclosing he and his family had contracted coronavirus despite following all the rules since the start, said he had not seen his 85-year-old mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, since last spring. “I’ve been able to do almost nothing with her for six months,” Duncan admitted on CNN. “But there’s nothing worse than having the people you care about contract this virus.”

That is, of course, a preposterous statement. It would be easy to name dozens if not hundreds of “worse” things that could happen to a loved one; for example, slowly withering away in a long-term care facility, isolated from family, desperate for human touch and interaction. But that is exactly what’s happening across the country as most states continue to impose harsh restrictions for nursing home visits. The most prosperous country in the world is allowing its most vulnerable citizens—men and women who defended and built America—to die of Third World causes including “failure to thrive,” a common ailment among children in impoverished nations.

“I’d Rather Die From COVID Than Loneliness”

According to an Associated Press story this week, an estimated 40,000 nursing home residents have died prematurely since March, resulting in a 15 percent increase in “excess deaths” at those facilities. 

“Nursing home watchdogs are being flooded with reports of residents kept in soiled diapers so long their skin peeled off, left with bedsores that cut to the bone, and allowed to wither away in starvation or thirst,” the AP reported. Adult children are shocked to find their once-healthy, active parents near death and in excruciating pain due to neglect.

One Tennessee woman recounted her heartbreak at seeing her mother for the first time in months: “The 79-year-old had dropped about 20 pounds, her eyes sunken and her legs looking more like forearms. Doctors at the hospital said she was malnourished and wasting muscle. There were bedsores on her backside and a gash on her forehead from a fall at the home. Her vocabulary had shrunk to nearly nothing and she’d taken to pulling the blankets over her head.”

Tens of thousands of similar accounts flood social media; a group of senior citizens staged a protest last month outside their Colorado nursing home, begging for permission to see their loved ones. One sign read, “I’d rather die from COVID than loneliness.”

Now these poor suffering souls will eat Thanksgiving dinner, perhaps their last one, alone while their offspring virtue-signal on Facebook in fealty to the almighty CDC guidance and the mindless cult of Orange Man Bad. And Christmas isn’t looking much better.

Abusing the Young

America’s school children, particularly those from poor and working-class families, continue to be punished by unscientific, union-driven shutdowns. More than 55 million children have been impacted by school closures; athletics and other extra-curricular activities have been canceled, scholarship hopes are dashed and the collective future of our youth is uncertain if not grim.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is once again closing his city’s schools amid a paltry (and likely erroneous) three percent positivity rate. Most children who attend the city’s public schools—the largest system in the country—are low-income; ten percent do not have a permanent home.

It’s a travesty repeated across the country. Virtual learning is a joke and the kids who can least afford to fall further behind. Special needs students are not receiving the specialized attention they need. Government guidelines for individualized education plans, implemented by local school districts, are ignored. Students and their families are powerless, voiceless, and hopeless—and it’s a dire situation faced by vulnerable children everywhere.

A soaring stock market disguises the underlying economic calamity caused by lockdowns. The unnecessary shuttering of restaurants and bars is crushing an industry that employs roughly 17 million Americans, mostly middle-income workers living paycheck to paycheck. October’s unemployment rate for the hospitality industry was over 16 percent; it will undoubtedly rise as new closures take effect in several states. Conversely, the unemployment rate for the financial sector is one-quarter that of hospitality services, just around four percent.

Food bank lines have reached recession-era volume. One survey released this week shows four out of 10 Americans now worry about having enough food to eat.

And this crisis could get much worse under a Biden Administration. On the campaign trail, Biden promised he would “shut down the virus, not the economy.” But now that the voting is over, some of his top advisors have threatened a nationwide shutdown that could last up to six weeks.

Yet despite all the punitive rules, the face masks and the social distancing, the virus is still here. No person or country can “shut down” a virus; pathogens outsmart humans almost every time.

Meanwhile, children are going backwards—educationally, mentally, and socially—and our seniors are dying slow, painful deaths alone. Segments of our once-thriving economy are failing with little hope they’ll ever fully be restored. Millions of jobs and businesses are gone forever while new government dependents are created every day.

What in the hell are we doing?

About Julie Kelly

Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. She is the author of Disloyal Opposition: How the NeverTrump Right Tried―And Failed―To Take Down the President Her past work can be found at The Federalist and National Review. She also has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, and Genetic Literacy Project. After college graduation, she served as a policy and communications consultant for several Republican candidates and elected officials in suburban Chicago. She also volunteered for her local GOP organization. After staying home for more than 10 years to raise her two daughters, Julie began teaching cooking classes out of her home. She then started writing about food policy, agriculture, and biotechnology, as well as climate change and other scientific issues. She graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1990 with a degree in communications and minor degrees in political science and journalism. Julie lives in suburban Chicago with her husband, two daughters, and (unfortunately) three dogs.

Photo: Chris Clor/Getty Images

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