Last month heralded the reopening of pub gardens and non-essential shops can also trade again!
Hopefully this will bring solace – and wages – to many people who have been struggling.
It won’t be long before the restrictions are reduced still further and everyday activities will be able to replace some of the socially-distanced isolation we have all been experiencing.
It’s hard to imagine being able to mix freely with people, with a renewed confidence that essential human contact is permissible.
For some young children, this will feel like a whole new experience.
Others will find it hard to remember being able to see an adult’s face without a mask covering it.
Anyone who has children in their lives, either in their personal life or through their professional/volunteering activities is acutely aware of the impact that the last year of social restrictions, reduced opportunities for schooling, societal anguish, poverty and uncertainty have had on so many thousands of children and young people.
Books will no doubt be written about this, over the months and years ahead.
Research will be undertaken to better understand the impact of Covid 19 and its inevitable viral successors on early years development, childhood self-esteem, young mental health, access to meaningful education, hopefulness for the future and expressions of creativity.
And in the meantime, we are responding to what is before our eyes in the here and now, as spring turns to summer in 2021.
No one on the frontline is able to ignore the fact that when we entered the period of a global pandemic, the infrastructure and resources for children and young people had already been under assault for 10 years. Social policies and public sector/ local authority funding were determined by political priorities which disadvantaged children and young people – and in particular those who were already incredibly vulnerable.
This link from NSPCC acknowledges much of what you already know in terms of the impact of the additional, pandemic stress on families, alongside some really useful and practical advice on how to respond to children and young people within these households: