Although lockdowns have detrimentally affected the entire population, young people (primarily referring to those under the age of 30) have been particularly harmed by these policies at rates much higher than the general population. This is concerning for many reasons. One of the first being that young people make up less than half of one percent of Covid-19 related deaths in the United States. An article published in the New England Journal of Medicine noted that in Sweden, where schools remained open, from December 31, 2019, to February 18, 2021, there were zero reported Covid-19 related deaths for children aged 1-16. The second, which will be explained in-depth in this article, is that young people are biologically, culturally, and developmentally more vulnerable to the effects of lockdown policies and social isolation. Finally, young people have very little political voice despite comprising around a third of the US population.


To understand why young people have been especially harmed by lockdowns, it is important to first know what makes them so vulnerable in the first place. People do not become fully functional and equipped adults from birth. Over many years, important biological functions are developed and important life skills are learned. From a socioeconomic standpoint, youth is also when important social and professional milestones are achieved from establishing relevant career experience to making important friendships. These biological and social factors all further necessitate the need for young people to be able to partake in normal societal functions, which are not only important for their emotional well-being, but their ability to become stable members of society.