This is Shazeen. She is a pediatrician working in the inner-city.
“Many of my patients are quite medically fragile and rely on a lot of services at baseline. With COVID, it’s been much harder to access these services. For example, patients who have cerebral palsy often require physiotherapy to stretch tight muscles. Now that in-person physiotherapy services have come to a halt, some children and families are unable to do much therapy at home, leading to more pain and discomfort. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to manage these cases without having to pile on more medications while also advocating for these kids to get access to these services.
On one hand, it seems that children for the most part are getting less sick with COVID. But the consequences of this pandemic will have really significant impacts on them.
One big challenge are the school closures. School is so much more than just learning from a blackboard – it’s important for good development, socialization, and provides access to many services.
Having children in school and in childcare allows parents to go to work. With virtual learning, I wonder how many families only have one computer or a proper internet connection. I’m glad to see that school boards have been providing devices to children who don’t have them because we need to make sure virtual learning is accessible to everyone.
I feel very lucky that this pandemic hasn’t really affected my life outside of work. I feel fortunate to have a job and to be able to support my patients during this time. But I feel that my work will increase after the pandemic, as we will start to see the longterm impacts.
I urge people to not forget the impact COVID will have on children.
Right now the focus isn’t on them since they aren’t getting sick as acutely as adults – but they will bear the brunt of this pandemic in the long run.”