by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor | John Locke Foundation
More evidence continues to show that government lockdowns and severe restrictions are wreaking havoc on youths’ mental health, with deadly consequences. I found instructive a comment from a doctor in a previous article about child suicides driven by pandemic restrictions: “In an 8-year-old’s life, a year is a really, really, really long time. They are fed up. They can’t see an end to it.”
The American Institute for Economic Research has published findings by research associate Micha Gartz pointing to a spike in deaths in 2020 by teens and young adults compared with 2018 and 2019.
A back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that, compared to 2018 and 2019 deaths per 100k, 2020 saw one extra death among those under age five, an additional 1.5 deaths among those aged 5 to 14, and a whopping 23 additional deaths among those aged 15 to 24. Overall, deaths per 100k in this age group jumped from 106.4 per 100k in 2019 to 131.7 per 100k during 2020. That’s an increase of 23% — and Covid only accounts for 1.2% of total deaths in ages 0–24 years.
The biggest increase in youth deaths occurred in the 15-24 age bracket — the age group most susceptible to committing suicide, and which constitutes 91% of youth suicides.
While acknowledging these are all-cause deaths and that suicide data from 2020 won’t be available till 2022, Gartz explains at length (read the whole thing) why increased suicide is likely a major reason for the spike in deaths, citing health officials, mental health experts, data from suicide hotlines, and data from specific localities.