A Tory COVID catastrophe is taking place in the UK with a government that pretends to care about children and the impact of school closures on their mental health when it is not.

First published in June 2021.

This is basically it. For a government that pretends to care about children and the impact of school closures on mental health, it has not:

  1. put mitigations in place to prevent school closures;
  2. provided mental health support to children;
  3. provided adequate support for catch-up learning.

Rather, it has exposed hundreds of thousands of children to infection with a novel virus – fully knowing there is a risk of long term illness.

Its failed policies directly led to school closures, with all their impacts on children and families. Support for remote learning was late and inadequate, which meant further worsening of inequities during school closures. Its chaotic policies created stress through making a mess of the GCSE/A level grading process. Then, the government cut back support for catch-up learning.

Schools still don’t have even basic resourcing for mitigatory measures to reduce transmission in the classrooms. It increasingly looks like children aren’t being offered vaccination, while policies are moving towards exposing children further by replacing isolation with suboptimal tests.

Long COVID clinics are struggling to know how to treat kids with long COVID, because we don’t even know what causes it, far less how to treat it. Rather than mechanistic research with specific treatments, our government is funding nutritional trials and counselling treatments for this.

Because that’s how we treat a complex heterogeneous syndrome with multiple biological mechanisms.

Please, don’t tell me this government cares about children

School reopening — No, Government doesn’t really care about children’s education.
No, Boris Johnson and his government don’t care about children’s education. Tories care about the Economy, Money, and their good friends’ businesses and shares. They worry not about the little ones learning Maths and English but about their parents showing up at work every morning.


Dr Deepti Gurdasani, Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology, Statistical Genetics, Machine Learning, Queen Mary University of London.


[This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article on 24 June 2021 with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected, and published with the author’s consent. | The author of the tweets writes in a personal capacity.]

(Cover: Flickr/Number 10. - Prime Minister Boris Johnson, visits St Issey School Wadebridge. | 10 June 2021. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)

Creative Commons License