Flat White

Corona crisis-mongering is scaring our kids to death

31 August 2020

5:00 AM

31 August 2020

5:00 AM

Enough with playing politics with people’s lives and gambling with mental health.

The majority of the country may well have been patient with the cautious lockdowns when this pandemic began, but patience has now been replaced with rising rage.

The devastated dad of a 14-year-old boy who took his own life spoke to The Courier Mail over the weekend, essentially laying blame at the feet of COVID lockdown for his son’s death. 

Jonah Waterson and Finn Meehan were described as “good kids”; two teen boys from a prominent Brisbane college who both took their own lives.

Jonah went for a ride and never came home.

The paper reports that his heartbroken mother apologised as she wiped away tears as she spoke during the interview, “unable to stop”.

“He didn’t enjoy COVID,” she said. “He’d get his work done at home then go outside and play basketball, and at one stage he said, ‘Oh Mum, this is terrible’.”

Teachers from the school describe how they are grappling with the national youth mental health crisis that risks more suicide.

“Fr Michael [Twigg, rector of the college] says while it is impossible to connect any COVID-19 fallout to the deaths of Jonah or Finn, the overall spike in youth suicide ‘has to mean there is something in the air that’s different’,” the story continues. Schools have told us they are hyper-aware, especially with lockdown and the limitations of connecting online. Face-to-face is so important and it’s why schools are crucial in the COVID response. Every school in Australia is walking a journey with vulnerable kids right now.”

The evidence is clear.

We know that Lifeline has taken more suicide prevention calls since March than in any other time in the organisation’s history.

Experts have warned that suicide rates could rise by up to 50 per cent.

While the unshakable Dan fans refuse to criticise any move the Victorian Premier has made at any stage of this pandemic response, wouldn’t it be wise to look at the mental health destruction that’s occurring across the entire country rather than playing blinkered culture wars politics?

Let’s not patronise boys by saying they need to learn to speak up and ask for help. 

How about we look at the overwhelming issues being laid at their feet by these cruel, harsh lockdowns?

Isn’t it time to ask whether lockdowns, hard border closures and relentless media fear-mongering risks causing more deaths than COVID itself? 

If you or anyone you know needs help:

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800

Headspace: 1800 650 890

Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636.

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