(Image from Flickr-Creative Commons)
La Cañada High School

How children in the age of COVID-19 are impacted disproportionally

Even as the global pandemic drags into another next school year, the government and local school administrations have still failed to address the issue of education.

Education has been a source of many heated debates, most notably whether to take on distance learning as the sole substitute for school, physically return to campus with masks on or do a little bit of both.

However, some have not had the luxury of dwelling on such matters. Lower-income students have more dire questions like: how will I receive an education? Or, will I even be able to go to school in any way? How will I get my next meal, seeing that I depended upon the school for all of my food?

This is the reality posed to the coronavirus’s latest victims: children.

According to NPR in a study done by the Children’s National Hospital in Washington D.C., when compared to the rate of white children being tested for the virus, Black children are tested at 30%. Hispanic children are tested at a higher percentage of 46%. The study, which addressed the question if disparities in adults in Washington D.C. from another study persisted despite age, confirmed that it did.

This may be due to several factors, such as the percentage of children with known exposure to the virus, the amount of access to healthcare and racial discrimination.

Not all people and their children are available to go to testing sites according to its opening and closing times. Furthermore, people may not be informed about the testing sites in the first place.

The study’s lead researcher, Dr. Monika Goyal, a Children’s National Hospital pediatric emergency medicine specialist, said the high positivity rate among young people is evidence which debunks that children are less likely to contract the virus.

With vulnerabilities to the virus exposed through so many factors, how and when will kids go to school?

Until more testing sites are made available with financial support from the government and school administrations and further consideration of studies, then maybe kids more vulnerable to COVID-19 will have the luxury of worrying about school over their health and survival.