Young people playing football on a field surrounded by piles of snow in Töölö, Helsinki, on 18 January 2021. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)


MAYOR OF VANTAA Ritva Viljanen has drawn attention to the need to support children, young people and families during the coronavirus epidemic.

“The remote life tends to be missing a lot, be it the limits of everyday reality, the support of safe adults, social contacts, physical activity or simply living the adolescence,” she stated at a press conference focusing on the situation of children and young people on Wednesday.

There has been no shortage of worrying signs of the repercussions of the epidemic and restrictions adopted to manage it.

Researchers at the University of Helsinki and University of Turku have found that the epidemic has eroded the well-being of young people. Paediatricians in the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS) have pleaded with authorities to lift the restrictions on the activities of children and young people. Eastern Uusimaa Police Department has reported that its officers have detected an increase in disruptive behaviour by young people.

The City of Vantaa on Wednesday underlined that all stakeholders should turn their attention to the long-reaching and, as a result, larger consequences of the unusual time.

“Not all parents have the opportunity to support children and young people with schoolwork. Also pupils who typically are doing well are at a higher risk of dropping out of courses in remote teaching,” highlighted Viljanen.

“What is boring and frustrating for adults can permanently deprive children of an opportunity to utilise their capacity constructively.”

Aleksi Teivainen – HT