The damaging effects of COVID lockdowns on the social fabric of the country far outweighed the minor health benefits, and we still do not know just how damaging those effects will be.
A Wall Street Journal-NORC poll found that the number of people who say that community involvement is “very important” to them dropped from 62% in 2019 to just 27% now. That is a bigger drop than the declines in patriotism, religion, and having children and a lower overall number than all three.
This is not a decline in the amorphous “communities” that are so often pushed to the forefront of our politics. Political discussions focus on the “black community,” as if all black people are the same and are interconnected. This extends to other communities as well; the “LGBTQ+ community,” the “Hispanic community,” and the “AAPI community.” AAPI is perhaps the silliest appellation, lumping all Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders into the same group.
These fictitious communities do not exist outside of pockets of social media. There is not one monolithic black community; there are several black communities and several communities that black people are a part of. Those communities are real communities, places where children are raised, people live, and bonds are forged.
The destruction of those communities at the hands of lockdown-obsessed bureaucrats will only damage the people that live in them. Business closures led to the loss of local watering holes, and COVID measures encouraged people to stay away from anyone that they did not live with. Children were forced out of everything from sports to school and plunged into social isolation that mentally and emotionally stunted them.
Lack of community and stable home lives can be seen in some of society’s biggest challenges. Weak communities beget crime and gang violence. Mass shootings are typically perpetrated by young men who are isolated, and young men who are isolated and mad at the world often fall under the influence of despicable figures who make them feel accepted. Weak communities also spur on the social media rage we see when people try to destroy people’s lives with viral videos that lack context.
If lockdowns led more people to withdraw from their communities, as they got used to the “new normal” that took hold of their lives for nearly two years, these problems could only worsen. That has already been a factor (alongside weak prosecutors) in the crime crisis that has taken hold since 2020 in several cities. Children will also struggle to make up the ground they lost from two years of social isolation, if they are able to make up that ground at all.
The “two weeks to slow the spread” that turned into two years of lockdowns has resulted in decay in communities all across the country. This, along with the learning loss from school closures, will be the biggest challenge we face moving forward. Worst of all, there is no easy one-size-fits-all fix. Communities can be easily destroyed, as the pandemic showed us, but rebuilding them requires effort and commitment, especially from the people who live there.
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Tags: Beltway Confidential, Opinion, Coronavirus, shutdown, social issues, Opinion
Original Author: Zachary Faria
Original Location: The decay in communities during the pandemic is devastating2023-03-27T20:43:41Z dg43tfdfdgfd