It feels like those making decisions about our future and our lives are not listening to us. We are not numbers – we are children.
First published in July 2021.
A letter to Doctor Who, by D. aged 15 and T. aged 9.
Are you there Doctor? We need you. The children of earth need you.
As you know, things have been tough on planet earth over the past 18 months. Incredibly tough for some. Birthdays have been missed and celebrations haven’t happened. Some of us haven’t been able to see our grandparents for a really long time. We have missed our friends. But it gets worse than that... Some of us have lost parents, teachers and friends.
The heartbreak here on planet earth has been immense.
There have been good things happening too, amazing things. Science has progressed at a rapid rate. Communities have helped each other get through the tough times. We’ve pressed hands against windows in place of sharing a hug, we’ve nodded and smiled at each other in place of handshakes, we’ve baked cakes and drawn pictures for each other, we’ve made posters to brighten up our
windows and to show we care about each other.
But now, something’s changed. And it’s not good. All those things we were doing to keep each other safe – we’re being told not to do them anymore. No distancing, no masks.
We want to learn, we want to be part of a community, we want to be educated and schooled – but that is not the same as being at school.
We are being told that we must go to school even though schools are not safe places for children at the moment. Last year our doctors were able to decide whether some of us were too unwell for school – Now they say that they have to tell each child to go to school. Last year, some teachers understood that to keep safe, some children needed to stay home. Now they say that school is where children must be – that there is no choice.
It feels like those making decisions about our future and our lives are not listening to us. It feels like no-one can hear our worries and no-one is taking them seriously. There was a myth that this devastating disease didn’t affect children badly but when you have friends who have been affected badly, you quickly realise that’s not true. It can affect everyone.
Some will say that it is only a tiny percentage of children that will die from this disease. But that is already 45 children in the UK, including 3 in the past week alone. We are not numbers – we are children. Human children. We don’t want that to be our brother or sister or best friend or me. We don’t want that to be any child – when it is preventable.
There are long-term consequences too for those who catch covid – the truth of which is too early to know. The impact may last a lifetime.
We trust grown-ups to protect us, but they are doing the opposite of protecting us. They are stripping away the last remnants of what could have helped keep us safe. When masks were worn in secondary schools, things were getting better – less people were getting ill. When that stopped, and masks were no longer worn from 17th May, things got worse. I may be just a kid but I was able to work out why that happened.
Many adults have been vaccinated. But we are still waiting. Waiting for a vaccine that we may never get. It may not be right for everyone but we want to have a choice. For the world to continue when adults are vaccinated but we have not been, just isn’t right. It isn’t fair. It feels like children are being sacrificed. And that is never a good thing.
Next time you’re visiting planet earth in a future time, I hope you’ll find our children and grandchildren happy and safe. I hope in history lessons they will teach of a time when good choices were ultimately made in the pandemic. But right now, we need you to make that happen.
You may think this is a joke or a prank letter but it is not. We have never been more serious. We need you Doctor. We need someone who the whole of humanity trusts to speak up for the children of earth in these desperate times. We need someone to tell them that we want to be kept safe and healthy because they have not listened to us – our voices have not been heard.
Doctor – you have saved this planet from destruction time and time again. We plead with you now to help save the children of planet earth.
— D. aged 15 and T. aged 9.
If you are a young person concerned about their safety at school and would like to tell us about your experience or simply would like to share anonymously your opinion about your safety at school in Covid times, please contact us today!
— AUTHORS —
▫ Parents United, grassroots, parent-led campaign for a sensible, safe, and sustainable approach to UK Schools.
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- Young Peoples Stories | Parents United
[This piece was first published in PMP Magazine on 14 July 2021. | The authors write in a personal capacity.]
(Cover: Flickr/Number 10. - PM Boris Johnson holding a reception for school children from St Joseph Primary school in the garden of 10 Downing Street. | 2 June 2021. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)