When the coronavirus pandemic first closed colleges final yr, one Chicago mom watched as her son — then a freshman at a public faculty on the North Facet — turned hyper-focused on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s each day briefings, spurring disappointment each time he introduced a delay in reopening colleges.
As Chicago Public Faculties remained closed for the remainder of the yr and didn’t reopen within the fall, the mom mentioned her son’s nervousness and melancholy manifested extra severely as he turned too offended to operate.
He stays “emotionally depressing,” mentioned the lady, who requested to not be named. “He’s in remedy, he’s taking treatment. This has by no means been true earlier than.”
Highschool college students in CPS nonetheless don’t know when they are going to return in individual this faculty yr, at the same time as kindergarten through fifth graders returned to classrooms last week and 6-Eight graders return Monday. CPS officers on Friday mentioned highschool college students may opt-in for in-person studying probably later this spring, however no deal has been reached with the Chicago Academics Union, and no particulars of how colleges would look in the event that they open their doorways have been launched.
Now nearing a yr of faculties being closed, college students are affected by extra intense signs of melancholy, nervousness and different psychological sicknesses, in response to psychological well being specialists.
Nationwide, the variety of youngsters’s psychological health-related emergency division visits elevated steadily from April to October 2020, in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For kids ages 12-17, the variety of visits elevated by 31% in comparison with 2019.
At Ann and Robert H. Lurie Kids’s Hospital, from September 2020 to January 2021, the speed of emergency division visits for psychological well being issues doubled in comparison with the yr earlier than, rising from 2.4% to 4.2% of all circumstances. Whereas the pandemic greater than halved the variety of emergency room visits total, the variety of psychological well being visits remained about the identical because the prior yr.
Dr. Jennifer Hoffman, an emergency room doctor at Lurie, mentioned though there was a hesitancy to go to the emergency room through the pandemic, psychological well being issues for some youngsters have been so excessive that households deemed the danger mandatory.
9:50 a.m. Polar Plunge goes digital amid COVID-19
Yearly for the final twenty years, hundreds of individuals ascend to North Avenue to dive into the frigid waters of Lake Michigan to lift cash for Particular Olympics Chicago and Particular Kids’s Charities.
In 2020, practically 5,000 folks charged into the lake, elevating a record-setting $2.2 million throughout what turned out to be one of many final main occasions within the metropolis to happen earlier than the pandemic uprooted life as we knew it.
However that wasn’t the case this yr. Like so many different traditions, this yr’s Polar Plunge was compelled to happen just about, with Sunday marking the ultimate day of the weeklong occasion.
Many contributors acquired inventive with the reimagined Polar Plunge.
Some nonetheless made the journey to the lakefront to take a dip in Lake Michigan, whereas one other group constructed a selfmade dunk tank that they arrange in an alleyway. On Saturday, college students and academics at St. Patrick Excessive College hosted a fun-filled event outdoors on the college’s soccer subject and raised about $10,700.
- State well being officers reported 1,068 new probable and confirmed COVID-19 cases Sunday, the fewest new circumstances recorded in a day since July 21. Sunday’s circumstances have been discovered among the many 68,094 checks processed by the Illinois Division of Public Well being, for a daily positivity rate of roughly 1.6%.
- Illinois’ each day caseload has surpassed 2,000 solely twice in March, 10 instances within the final month and twice in March. Due to this, the state’s seven-day positivity charge has dropped near an all-time low. On Sunday, that determine, which specialists use to gauge the unfold of the virus throughout the state, was 2.3% — down a full percentage point from one month ago.
- Officers additionally introduced 14 virus-related deaths, marking the smallest daily pandemic death toll since October. 5 of these fatalities have been reported within the Chicago space.
- Statewide hospitalizations have returned to pre-peak levels, too. As of Saturday evening, 1,141 beds have been occupied statewide by coronavirus sufferers, with 255 of these sufferers in intensive care items and 112 on ventilators, officers mentioned.