Children and young people should be having fun | Blaise Tapp

A group of young people make their way to the beach in Bournemouth, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)A group of young people make their way to the beach in Bournemouth, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
A group of young people make their way to the beach in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
If I had a pound for every time I've heard the phrase 'we are all in this together' in recent months then there would be no need to continue playing the National Lottery.

While the pandemic and subsequent lockdown may have changed the way of life and medium-term financial outlook for a significant proportion of the global population, no single experience has been exactly the same.

For the vast majority of us who have mercifully avoided Covid-19's long reach, the moratorium on normality has been a necessary inconvenience which we have toiled our way through with varying degrees of success.

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Some have rediscovered long-forgotten talents, while others have finally got round to watching Life on Mars and Line of Duty on the iPlayer while there are those who have never worked so hard –including medical professionals, supermarket workers and those beleaguered-looking souls who spend their days delivering online orders of skipping ropes and expensive trainers which will only ever be worn twice.

While some have clearly enjoyed not having to put on a pair of trousers each morning – you don’t need to when one’s office is the kitchen table – it has been a torturous experience for many more.

Those who really have my sympathies are the young as not only are they currently missing out on some of the best days of their lives but they are the subject of much opprobrium from older folk who take exception to their perceived laissez-faire attitude to lockdown rules.

The whole point of being young is about learning, including the vital but sometimes boring stuff taught in schools, about life itself and, most importantly, what we need to know about ourselves as people.

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Speaking from personal experience, the road to self-discovery is long and sometimes tedious and is impossible to complete without having a large amount of fun along the way. Life is serious enough once you are old enough to start paying rent and bills, so horsing around while young and free of responsibility should be mandatory.

Like the rest of us, the young were forced to stay inside until restrictions were eased and now significant numbers of them have made their way into the great outdoors. And why not?

Yes, they might not always adhere to the soon-to-be-halved two metre rule, and some might meet in groups which far exceed the six that is currently permitted but, in the main, their transgressions are relatively minor when all they want to do is meet their mates and have a much-need laugh. And don’t they need it!

The outlook for young people is even bleaker than it was before the March meltdown as they appear to have been hit harder than other groups. Statistics from the Resolution Foundation show a third of 18-24-year-olds have either been furloughed, lost their jobs, or seen a reduction in pay.

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It isn’t just the working young who have suffered as GCSE and A-level students have seen huge disruption to their studies and exams as have undergraduates, who are facing at least six months away from the lecture theatre.

Those who had planned to leave home to study in the autumn are now considering deferring their university places for a year due to the ongoing uncertainty.

None of this can be good for the mental wellbeing of our young, including younger schoolchildren who would now much rather play British bulldog in the playground than Fortnite in their bedroom.

We know that the risks to children and the young from Covid-19 are very low compared to older generations and earlier claims that they may be super-spreaders seem wide of the mark now.

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With bleak employment prospects, little chance of buying a home until they reach their 30s and horizons severely narrowed, why shouldn’t the young have a bit of fun? They don’t have to stand together with other generations in this particular struggle.