10.30.2020 0

Blue State Blues: The misery index spikes under Covid lockdowns

By Catherine Mortensen

Rachel Keane of suburban Denver says raising children in the age of Covid isn’t easy.

“You take your kids to the park and you see five-year-olds masked up and their moms looking terrified,” she said.

Keane, who is known as “Conservative Momma” on social media said she has friends all over Colorado who have lost their businesses because of the heavy-handed Covid lockdown of Democrat Gov. Jared Polis.

More than half of Coloradans have experienced increased mental health strain during the pandemic, according to a new survey from the Colorado Health Foundation.

Vincent Atchity, head of Mental Health Colorado, told the Colorado Springs Gazette, “This is the worst mental health the country’s ever been in. We’re a state in distress.”

Shannon Van Deman, vice president of the Pediatric Mental Health Institute at Children’s Hospital Colorado, told the Gazette  that the financial crisis resulting from the pandemic is creating an even more acute behavioral health crisis in our state.

“They’re sicker. There are higher incidents of suicide attempts and deaths by suicide,” Van Deman said. “The stress is being felt.”

Anxiety, depression, fear, anxiousness about the pandemic, a lack of social connectedness and the basic sense of safety are being tested, she said.

In neighboring New Mexico, Democrat governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, has similarly restricted freedoms in that state, with devastating effects.  As many as four in five New Mexico public school students are failing at least one class in some of the state’s school districts, according to data made public this week by legislative analysts. The study said New Mexico students are missing out on four months to a year’s worth of education because of remote learning.

Pennsylvania’s Democrat governor, Tom Wolf, imposed lockdowns that were so harsh, last month a federal judge ruled them unconstitutional. Specifically, Judge William S. Stickman, IV found:

  • Limits on gatherings of certain sizes – up to 25 people indoors and 250 outdoors – violated the First Amendment;
  • Orders closing “non-life-sustaining” businesses – violated both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses as applied; and
  • A stay-at-home order as implemented violated the Due Process Clause.

Addiction experts in the state said Wolf’s restrictions are exacerbating addiction problems. Dr. Jody Glance, medical director of the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center’s addiction services said social isolation is behind a sharp increase in drug overdoses in the state.

Glance told the Beaver County Times, “We know that’s a risk factor for substance use and relapse. By the nature of the pandemic, people are socially isolated to a degree that we really haven’t seen before.”

It appears blue state governors campaigns of fear are working. According to a recent Gallup poll,  a mere 5% of men and 3% of women Democrats reported being ready to return to normal. In contrast, over half of Republicans, both men and women, would be willing to resume normal activities.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has tapped into that fear, and is messaging almost exclusively on Covid this final week of the campaign.”We’re about to go into a dark winter, a dark winter,” Biden said in last week’s debate.

It’s a message Keane in Colorado isn’t buying.

“They keep pushing fear and trying to scare everyone,” Keane said. “It takes a toll. It is harming children. When you instill fear in people, they become paralyzed. It can take years to overcome the kind of fear Democrats are spreading.”

Keane believes the lockdowns go against our most basic human instinct – connecting with others. “We are social creatures. Children need to touch, feel, and express. These lockdowns have taken the joy out of living.”

With climbing rates of suicide, drug overdoses and depression, and plummeting school grades in virtual learning, it’s time for Americans to take President Donald Trump’s advice at the final debate, and learn to live with Covid, “We can’t lock ourselves in a basement like Joe does.”

Catherine Mortensen is Vice President of Communications at Americans for Limited Government.

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