January 24, 2021

"Surge of Student Suicides Pushes Las Vegas Schools to Reopen/Firmly linking teen suicides to school closings is difficult, but..."

"... rising mental health emergencies and suicide rates point to the toll the pandemic lockdown is taking" — NYT headline. 
Even in normal circumstances, suicides are impulsive, unpredictable and difficult to ascribe to specific causes. The pandemic has created conditions unlike anything mental health professionals have seen before, making causation that much more difficult to determine. But Greta Massetti, who studies the effects of violence and trauma on children at the C.D.C., said there was “definitely reason to be concerned because it makes conceptual sense.”... 
In Clark County, 18 suicides over nine months of closure is double the nine the district had the entire previous year, [said Jesus Jara, the Clark County superintendent]. One student left a note saying he had nothing to look forward to. The youngest student he has lost to suicide was 9. “I feel responsible.” Dr. Jara said. “They’re all my kids.”... 
Over the summer, as President Donald J. Trump was trying to strong-arm schools into reopening, Dr. Robert R. Redfield, then the C.D.C. director, warned that a rise in adolescent suicides would be one of the “substantial public health negative consequences” of school closings.... 
A video that Brad Hunstable made in April, two days after he buried his 12-year-old son, Hayden, in their hometown Aledo, Texas, went viral after he proclaimed, “My son died from the coronavirus.” But, he added, “not in the way you think.” 

68 comments:

Kai Akker said...

--- "because it makes conceptual sense.”...

The best kind.

tim maguire said...

Is it crass to point out that this is part of the shift away from lockdowns that was made possible by Trump’s loss in the last election? Suddenly, the suffering of children matters...

I try not to blame US politics for a worldwide phenomenon, but if I only paid attention to what is happening in the US, I would think COVID was a conspiracy to help Democrats destroy Trump. Because that’s what Democrats and the media act like it is.

Kevin said...

“Firmly linking teen suicides to school closings is difficult, but..."

[Ding]

What is: Trump’s not President anymore?

Correct.

rhhardin said...

Dead children always goes viral. Hook your wagon to it in the modern social media world.

Twelve doesn't sound like many, though. It might just be more time at home with access to guns. It could be that, per hour at home, suicide is less likely with a shutdown.

Browndog said...

Didn't I just read Clark County cancelled all high school sports for fall/2021?

exhelodrvr1 said...

Teachers unions don't give a shit

rhhardin said...

21 children a year die in school bus crashes, you have to subtract those out. Not just from being in school buses. Those things are killing menaces to pedestrians too.

Fernandinande said...

"Suicides among youth, adults not up in Nevada during pandemic"

"When questioned by the Current, CCSD issued a statement attributing Jara’s incorrect comment to a 'statistical error.'"

"So far this year, Clark County, which has had 337 adult suicides, is on track for the lowest number in five years."

[And "youth" suicides - 14 - are slightly below the average of the previous 4 years: 14.25]

++

Fernandinande said...

[And "youth" suicides - 14 - are slightly below the average of the previous 4 years: 14.25]

And that is for Clark County.

Funny how so many of the commenters here believed what the nyt wrote about something...anything.

boatbuilder said...

"Over the summer, as President Donald J. Trump was trying to strongarm schools into reopening...."

It's NYT fake news and as Ferdinande points out the very small sample size probably signifies a cooked statistic, but...

They seem to be saying that closing schools is a bad thing, while simultaneously saying that Donald Trump was wrong to advocate for reopening schools.

Timesworld.

Matt Sablan said...

The cynic in me assumes that a child someone who makes policy cares for might be among the suicides/attempts. I wish I weren't so cynical.

David Begley said...

When will the Dems admit their massive error in judgment? And it was mostly driven by the desire to create a crisis to defeat Trump. Reason 536 of why I hate the Dems.

David Begley said...

Here in Omaha, the Omaha Public School District cancelled Fall sports. Everyone else played. No problems. And no apology from OPS.

mccullough said...

Schools should be open.

They aren’t nursing homes.

The leadership across this country is terrible. The media is worse.

David Begley said...

One of the biggest tragedies of Biden’s Presidency is that he won’t do a damn thing to get money from China. I figure they owe us $3 trillion. Trump would have exacted money from China as he said he would.

China unleashed the Wuhan virus on the world and they were intentional about it.

Matt Sablan said...

"One of the biggest tragedies of Biden’s Presidency is that he won’t do a damn thing to get money from China."

-- I thought conservatives' concern was that Biden would try too hard to get money from China.

MadTownGuy said...

Prelude to 'Biden's in, lockdowns are out.'

rhhardin said...

Empathy makes bad law. It puts feelings over structure.

BUMBLE BEE said...

SHUT UP... TRUST SCIENCE...

CWJ said...

Fernandinande,

You were only the seventh commenter on this thread, and I did not see much explicit belief on the part of the previous six. What's your definition of "so many?"

What I did see was more like questioning the timing and motive for publishing the story rather than belief in it. And with that, I agree.

Josephbleau said...

“-- I thought conservatives' concern was that Biden would try too hard to get money from China.”

The concern is that Biden wants money from China for his own pocket, Trump would want it for our treasury.

Cheryl said...

I have four kids, really young adults. This lockdown has been awful for all of them--they've been very resilient but if they'd wanted to do on-line learning, they would have chosen it. They have lost out on proms, graduations and all the fun of senior years, football seasons (SEC schools don't mess around with football but it was still a loss) and playing in the marching band, sorority rush, in-person church, and a lot more. All combined with an atmosphere of paranoia about getting the virus and then "killing grandma." They are fine because they were rock-solid before, and they have great support systems (me �� and their dad first among them) and because some of their interests, like sailing and riding, were less affected by the lockdown. Plus we live in the South.

But I have friends whose kids are less well mentally, and the lockdown has been awful for them. If your kid's athletics were entirely centered on the school, common for high school, you were out of luck. Large friend group? Probably out of luck. For kids who need the social or learning support offered at school, this has been devastating. It doesn't take a lot to see that at the margin many kids will slip into despair. It's been one of the despicable results of the lockdown. I feel for the parents who have lost these kids...and they are most definitely lockdown victims.

hombre said...

We owe a great vote of thanks to our altruistic, courageous teachers for, as always, putting the welfare of our children ahead of their own. /s

In our community, they have continued to collect their full paychecks while delivering substandard, internet “education” to the kids. Of course, they have been doing that for decades, only differently.

They are in Group 1B for the vaccines along with the highest risk elderly because they are “essential” despite continually demonstrating otherwise. The checker at my grocery store is at higher risk and is considerably more essential, but the retail clerks union doesn’t contribute as much to the Democrats who run the county as the teachers’ unions.

Ironically, our “Arizona soon to be California” voters on the way to turning the state blue - by hook or by crook - just passed a huge tax increase to benefit schools and teachers. We are being smothered by assholes.

Matt Sablan said...

"Of the 14 Southern Nevada youth to take their own lives this year, at least eight committed suicide since September, just weeks into the beginning of a school year like no other. The most recent child to take his own life was 9 years old.

2020 is an average year in terms of youth suicides in Clark County, which range the last five years from a low of 10 in 2019 to a high of 20 the previous year."

-- Wait. If in 2019 was a low of 10, and 14 was the number in 2020... that is more. Is this just a question of rates vs. raw numbers? Also, the 2020 school year (which my understanding, school years should be listed as two years, so the 2020-2021 school year) still isn't over.

I feel like the Nevada Current article is pretty sloppily written; switching between school year and year interchangeably, making it hard to know if it is just sloppiness and all their numbers are for the school year, or if they really are jumping back and forth.

Either way, I feel like it is a smokescreen to hide the fact that more kids have killed themselves in part of the 2020 school year than all of the 2019 school year. There might be some value in stating, "but that's fine, because we allow for X% suicide rate among kids, because you can't stop every tragedy," but I also wonder: "Just how many more kids ARE there in Nevada since 2019 to 2020 that the rates would change significantly?"

I'm not convinced the NC article is that useful.

Cacimbo said...

So - Trump was right.

Friend who works in er of local hospital recently was saying that staff had all noticed increase in suicide attempts for every age group and of teens self harming (mostly by cutting).

Temujin said...

Yesterday I listened to the Joe Rogan podcast with Alex Berenson from Dec 23. It's a 3 hour podcast, so they could actually dig deep into discussions about the entire Covid show. The entire shutdown was a massive overreaction, based in initial wrong treatments, lack of information, misinformation, and politicization.

We don't even know the extent of the damage yet. I read a small blurb in a Detroit paper yesterday noting that Gretchen Whitmer, the Governor, finally announced that she'll allow restaurants and bars to operate with customers inside. Four days after Biden was inaugurated. It's a miracle. But not really. The small blurb in the paper also mentioned in passing that 3,000 Michigan restaurants have permanently closed.

I would say that's an undercount. As it will be all around the country. These people- our Awful Leaders- have zero idea what it takes to operate a small business. And they have no idea the permanent destruction their decisions have cost to thousands, millions of people.

Do not come to me and say, 'but...but what of the 300,000 deaths by covid?" Our counts for covid are not close to correct. We count everything: dying of covid or dying with covid are treated the same. And- they are not the same. Our Awful Leaders have blown this in a huge way.

And the only one who took the blame for it? Donald J. Trump. Not the Chinese, who created and shipped out the disease to the entire world. Not the messed up Oxford projections, nor the ever-wrong IHME covid projections. Not the WHO or their feckless leader, who covered and continues to cover for the Chinese (and Joe Biden immediately rewarded them for their malfeasance that killed hundreds of thousands). Not our Governors, and media- who slathered themselves in fear porn for months, finding out just what the perimeters were on how far they could exert complete power over their citizens. They found out just how far they can push it. More so in some states than in others, it seems.

But the suicides, depression, lost year of schooling to our kids is a much greater damage than any of of the above. And who will be held accountable? Gretchen Whitmer? Andrew Cuomo? Andrew Fauci? Gavin Newsom? Hardly. President Biden is here with his mask order. Listen to Berenson talk about the masks. I knew this from 8th grade (?) biology. A virus is smaller than any cloth or fabric mask can block. It's a show. It does nothing.

Fernandinande said...

In Georgia, youth suicides in 2020 are about half of what they were in 2019:

"But preliminary data from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Fatality Review Unit show a significant drop in the number of completed youth suicides this year from 59 deaths in 2019 to 24 through Dec. 4.[2020]"

I just find it hard to believe that kids would be suicidal because they're NOT in school!

hombre said...

Fernandinande wrote: “Funny how so many of the commenters here believed what the nyt wrote about something...anything.”

Reacting is not believing.

Jeff Brokaw said...

This is blindingly obvious common sense. So: where is the accountability?

Just a couple of weeks ago in the Chicago suburbs, a high school quarterback took his life. 18 years old, highly recruited, 34 ACT score, starter since sophomore year. Had depression before the pandemic. Now he’s gone and that’s one bright future snuffed out, no marriage, no kids, no contribution to society.

People need to be active and have freedom to pursue happiness. Isn’t that in one of our founding documents?

stlcdr said...

KY stats: out of 4.4 million people, just over 3000 COVID deaths, in the age group 0 to 29, only three (3) have died. More than 75% of deaths are in long term care facilities.

I have a hard time seeing how the extended lockdowns, coupled with fearmongering, doesn’t have a significant psychological effect on the age group which is defined by their social interactions.

narciso said...

it's about interaction with people, it's not about the location, but you can't have a hive without drones,

stlcdr said...

Matt Sablan said...
"One of the biggest tragedies of Biden’s Presidency is that he won’t do a damn thing to get money from China."

-- I thought conservatives' concern was that Biden would try too hard to get money from China.

1/24/21, 8:02 AM
zing!

Gotta save that for posterity. Well played.

Fernandinande said...

You were only the seventh commenter on this thread, and I did not see much explicit belief on the part of the previous six. What's your definition of "so many?"

You're correct that six isn't a lot, but as far as I could tell none of those six called bullshit on the bullshit.

Jersey Fled said...

And yet Virginia teachers unions demand impossible conditions before they are willing to return to the classroom. Like every school age child vaccinated. In spite the fact that none of the vaccines are approved for those under 16.

Richard Aubrey said...

For about a million years, H. Sap adolescents and their predecessors have been getting by without high school.
School closure is the most obvious symptom. Stimulus as a part of maturing is not limited to high school. Being prepared by your H. Ergaster father and his buddies for your first hunt is likely really stimulating.
Being required to split wood for a couple of hours at age ten....
Doing Tom Sawyer stuff, trying to impress Becky Thatcher, that gets the brain working.
Point is, it's all the other stuff which is also forbidden the kids that is pressure. A good deal of the raw volume of stimulation was taken over by six or seven hours a day in school and what came of it--extra curricular, friends, etc--but that was a substitute for the earlier million years, not icing on the cake.

stlcdr said...

I don’t think there is anyone who is an expert in human psychology, least of all psychologists and sociologists, bu5 one thing I do know is that humans do exactly what you won’t expect.

I’m hoping that the break from school indoctrination will actually create more balanced individuals. I think the younger adults are a more ‘at risk’ demographic.

Mr Wibble said...

Honestly, the current school paradigm needs to be gutted like a Tijuana hooker. It no longer works.

Personally, I'd suggest going back to one-room schools, where students are grouped into multiple years in the same classroom. Grades 1-4, 5-8, and fold high schools into community colleges. Let teachers rent a classroom in their public school, to gain access to shared resources, and then reimburse them based on the number of students they teach. The only job of the state should be to oversee the statewide diploma test, which any student may take after turning 14.

Mr Wibble said...

This is blindingly obvious common sense. So: where is the accountability?

Just a couple of weeks ago in the Chicago suburbs, a high school quarterback took his life. 18 years old, highly recruited, 34 ACT score, starter since sophomore year. Had depression before the pandemic. Now he’s gone and that’s one bright future snuffed out, no marriage, no kids, no contribution to society.

People need to be active and have freedom to pursue happiness. Isn’t that in one of our founding documents?


I've been thinking about this, and it struck me (perhaps later than others) that technology basically enabled the cultural ascendency of the introverts, the misanthropes, and the sociopaths. This is not healthy for the large portion of the population who are none of those.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Well there’s still some journalism after all. The costs of COVID are starting in some small ways to be measured, and what we learn will be stunning. This follows another news current: (not my) president Biden finally admitted “we can’t change the trajectory” by which he meant the same thing I’ve been writing here since February 2020, “viruses gotta virus.” Drawing on hundreds of years of known epidemiology I laid out the known facts for my fellow althousians that viruses either burn out before they can spread too far (Ebola), we develop a vaccine (measles) and/or develop herd immunity (smallpox). Short of one of these outcomes we have treated symptoms (polio) until one of the cures came about. Biden now admits there’s “nothing we can do” (link to his quote below) to change the virus’s path, although he should have reminded people to wash their hands and not touch their face. Or rescinded his dumb mask mandate. Anyway, I am heartened to see Joe acknowledge reality even in some small probably insignificant way.

https://legalinsurrection.com/2021/01/joe-biden-nothing-we-can-do-to-change-trajectory-of-pandemic-in-coming-months/

Who else is ready to stand by what you wrote here last FEB-MAR?

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Covid was worth it because we now have the corrupt democrat party lording over us.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

The left had to destroy the great economy. The chi com virus was their method.

Michael K said...

But I have friends whose kids are less well mentally, and the lockdown has been awful for them. If your kid's athletics were entirely centered on the school, common for high school, you were out of luck.

My grandkids are solid emotionally but this year has been hell for them. My older granddaughter has had no prom, no graduation and is going to U of Alabama next fall. She is smart getting as far from California as possible. Governor hair gel learned that two private high schools played a football game and has set the entire investigative apparatus of the state on them.

My grandson is an athlete who has played baseball and football for years. Not this year. His younger sister is the only one who has had a chance at normal as she is a swimmer and there are still swim meets.

David Begley said...

We had a chance for accountability with the election, but it was stolen from us. Never Forget!

Jersey Fled said...

BTW where's C'mon Man Joe on all this.

Trump was clear he wanted the schools open.

Joe?

Michael K said...

The serious question, I think, is whether the left can steal the 555 races in 2022, or enough of them to control the House and Senate. If we have another 2010 election, we are probably safe. Biden and Harris can do a lot of damage but most is probably recoverable. If fraud is our future, there will be a revolution. For one thing, the Democrats just ensured that the National Guard will not be on their side if it comes.

Remember, in those banana republics we are coming to resemble, revolutions are never led by the generals. Pinochet was the exception.

narciso said...

yes tney cleared the decks with generals prat and schneiders, the process junta headed by videla, and co, were more straightforward,

JPS said...

tim maguire, 7:16:

"if I only paid attention to what is happening in the US, I would think COVID was a conspiracy to help Democrats destroy Trump."

Never let a crisis go to waste....

hombre, 8:16:

"[Teachers] are in Group 1B for the vaccines along with the highest risk elderly because they are “essential” despite continually demonstrating otherwise. The checker at my grocery store is at higher risk and is considerably more essential,"

Couldn't agree more. Worse, in my state as a college professor I count as a teacher – I think this should be limited to K-12, teaching in person – and therefore get a fairly high place in line despite being under fifty with no underlying risk factors. And I'm still not allowed to teach in person, much as I would prefer to do so.

I'd really like to pull a Tulsi Gabbard and say Hell no, not til the people I know who are at higher risk than me get theirs. Except the system isn't set up for anyone to do that. Probably my dose would be thrown away. So I guess I'll just say Baaa and take my place in line.

Mikey NTH said...

The nation sacrificed much, but it rid us of the Golden Scalp Weasel.

Yancey Ward said...

Don't know whether or not the schools being closed is a factor in higher suicide rates, but our idiotic policies are damaging the early lives of an enormous number of children across broad swaths of the country- damage that will be with us for decades going forward by all credible accounts.

My oldest niece is in her senior year of high school, and has been on virtual learning since last March in Pennsylvania. The thing is I actually can imagine a little bit what it must be like to miss out on the memories of your last year in high school- my high school was closed the last month of my senior year due to a flash flood. Even now, thinking back on it, it hurts a little bit that my friends and I missed out on that experience of those last few weeks- it must be much worse to miss out on the last 1 1/2 years. And I was someone who hated school for the most part- my niece loved it.

Yancey Ward said...

The serious question, I think, is whether the left can steal the 555 races in 2022

Oh, that will be a piece of cake. Think about what would have happened in November without Trump on the ballot, Mike. The Democrats would have lost no seats in the House, likely would have picked up a few across the mid Atlantic and midwest, and would have won at least another 3 Senate seats. The 2022 election will be just like the 2018 election, but on steroids because mail in voting will be everywhere in 2022- that toothpaste will be nearly impossible to put back into the tube for the Republican Party.

Jeff Brokaw said...

Mr Wibble at 8:52 is on the right track.

Sebastian said...

"rising mental health emergencies and suicide rates point to the toll the pandemic lockdown is taking"--on young people, especially, for no appreciable gain in protecting old people.

The deadly stupidity and injustice of the anti-WuFlu measures will be viewed in retrospect, if our prog overlords will still allow the actual writing of actual history, as one of the more outrageous cruelties of the modern age.

Kai Akker said...

---You're correct that six isn't a lot, but as far as I could tell none of those six called bullshit on the bullshit. [Fernandinande]

I didn't put the /s after my initial post. "Conceptual truth" is like social justice. If you have to modify the noun, it is something different. A kind of truth that requires no proof, just the immediate resort to one's preferred stereotype or fantasy. Too easy.

I agree with your other comment; I also doubt very much that the most resilient subgroup of our population, adolescents, are being thrown into despair over this. Disappointment, sure. Frustration, loneliness, anger. All likely. But suicidal despair, I doubt it. They are hopeful and persistent, in general, IMO. And from the numbers quoted, albeit tiny figures, I don't see the evidence of suicidal despair, either.

effinayright said...

stlcdr said...
KY stats: out of 4.4 million people, just over 3000 COVID deaths, in the age group 0 to 29, only three (3) have died. More than 75% of deaths are in long term care facilities.

I have a hard time seeing how the extended lockdowns, coupled with fearmongering, doesn’t have a significant psychological effect on the age group which is defined by their social interactions.
****************************

Before Our LOrds and Masters in Mass. took the data off the state's covid dashboard last August, exactly ZERO people twenty and under had been recorded as dying from covid. IIRC exactly ONE kid has died from it since, along with 14,000 older people, almost all over 65.

Can't have the public knowing any of that now, can we? How can the teachers' union continue their pay-us-not-to-work grift, bleating about "the children" and themselves not wanting to be "guinea pigs" if we know the facts?

It's criminals, public-sector criminals, all the way down.

walter said...

CDC was long ago suggesting schools should open.
Inconvenient "science" for teacher's unions.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

“My son died from the coronavirus. But not in the way you think.”

Sadly, the lad died from GOVERNMENT POLICY. I blame the voters who allow, even urge, Government to make decisions for them.

Ray - SoCal said...

Suicide numbers are under counted due to the shame associated with suicide.

I hope their families get the help after the trauma. I still remember a high school person I Knew and looked up to, that suicided almost 40 years ago. Eric Dickerson. Such a waste.

Joe Smith said...

What happened on January 20?

Before that, the suicides could all be blamed on Trump.

Not so much anymore.

Open everything!

walter said...

They hear Open up America and think border.

BUMBLE BEE said...

I can drift away for hours on the happy memories of my senior year. Magic filled the air is my recollection. The graduates of 2021 may well have only nightmares.

BUMBLE BEE said...

The suicides may take place in another time, having originated here. They certainly will be hidden from view, as has been the practice for some time now.

DavidUW said...

On you, fraudci and every fucking teachers union.

Burn in hell.

Unknown said...

The shutdowns continue to kill and destroy more lives than the virus.

Skippy Tisdale said...

CDC was long ago suggesting schools should open.
Inconvenient "science" for teacher's unions.


What's the difference between a public school teacher and a doctor of epidemiology?

A doctor of epidemiology doesn't think he's a public school teacher.

Skippy Tisdale said...

On the day of the presidential inauguration, I heard on the news that over 4,400 Americans died from Covid-19, the largest single day death toll so far and yet, now the president and all of the Democratic governors are saying that it's time to start opening everything back up again.

What's wrong with this picture? Just how stupid do our betters think we are?

Michael K said...

Think about what would have happened in November without Trump on the ballot, Mike. The Democrats would have lost no seats in the House, likely would have picked up a few across the mid Atlantic and midwest, and would have won at least another 3 Senate seats.

That was because they could have won a fair election with the usual GOPe candidates inspiring zero interest in GOP voters. The Arizona Republican Party just censured Cindy McCain, Jeff Flake and the governor Doug Ducey, another McCainiac. The first two for Biden heresy and Ducey because he has been a squish all along. He is another McCain gang member.

The 2022 election will be just like the 2018 election, but on steroids because mail in voting will be everywhere in 2022- that toothpaste will be nearly impossible to put back into the tube for the Republican Party.

That is what I fear but still hope it may be too tough for them to steal all those elections.

n.n said...

What's wrong with this picture? Just how stupid do our betters think we are?

They think that they can abort the baby and have her, too. A lot of Marxists, communists, socialists, fascists, and the kind, and "good" Americans have gone along to get along with their wicked solutions for personal profit, em-pathetic support, and social inoculation. So, it progresses.

Hercules, not that one though said...

In 2020, Democrats and the News media created a hysteria about a 'flu'. Democrats were in an existential crisis because their political philosophy amounted to nothing more than deception and cheating. That's all they had. Trump broke them. Democrats had to give up on deception, and went full bore cheating.

1,000 affidavits attesting to their cheating. Not one Court would look at the evidence. Not one. Not even the US Supreme Court. Democrats spent the Summer burning down cities, attacking peaceful citizens. And yet,we flooded the Courts and Congress with women, to hear them roar, but Antifa frightened them. The brave Judges and Justices didn't want to be targeted.

They didn't roar. They were afraid.

They'd rather mewl about how unfair it is to have neutered males compete against them in sports, while proclaiming they should be Soldiers because they can go hand-to-hand with enemy male soldiers...but...just not in sports.

Combat with men is a piece of cake for our Amazonian Warrior Princesses, but...y'now...not in sports.