Abstract:Professionals in psychology, psychoanalysis, paediatrics and child psychiatry draw up an alarming assessment of the traumatic impacts of current health policy on children. Describing their observations, as well as the symptoms noted in their consultations and analysing the testimonies of parents, teachers and children, they point to serious disruptions in living together and socialisation, the occurrence of new abuses at schools, a condemnation of tenderness, of empathy and an implicit prohibition on otherness, an impediment to relational and psychomotor development as well as regressions in learning, a major weakening of benevolent / contacting authority and parental posture, a loss of structuring reference points and paradoxical discourses.
The clinical picture concludes that there is a growing psychological suffering in children, which could lead to an explosion of serious psychological disorders and suicidal acts.
We professionals in psychology, psychoanalysis, pediatrics and child psychiatry intend to alert to the traumatic impacts of current health policy on children.
This trauma comes more generally from an intrusion of the adult world into the children’s world, with adults being treated by the state as children, and children as adults who are deprived of joy of life, leisure, socialization, confident projection into adults and the future, tenderness and innocence.
The discourse addressed to children by current health policy is a bludgeoning of fear, mistrust, guilt, illness and death. Moreover, it is a deadly adult discourse that does not adapt to the age of the children, and in front of which the children received in consultation seem to us totally disoriented.
The symptoms noted in our consultations
More and more children are appearing in consultations with an unequivocal traumatic picture.
Let’s list some of the most frequently encountered symptoms:
Anxiety, sleep disorders, demotivation, emotional withdrawal, decreased energy (related to lack of activities, continuous monitoring, worry about doing wrong), asthenia related to constant fear (fear of disease, fear of doing wrong, fear of taking off the mask, fear of contaminating others, fear of being scolded, fear of others, etc.). ), stupefaction, chronic anxiety (due in particular to the induced instruction not to get sick in order to stay at school), psychosomatic disorders (which persist when returning home, for example: tics, skin problems, respiratory and asthmatic disorders that are new for children with no previous symptoms, hot flashes that hinder sleep at night, migraines, dermatoses…). The development of hypochondriac traits and returns of enuresis in children who were already grown up (e.g. children of CM2 who had been toilet trained for a long time) were also observed.
Extreme agitation leading to chain diagnoses of hyperactivity (even though the children have no space to play and exercise at school, their sports and cultural activities have decreased in favor of more time spent on the screens), regressions in language, emotional confusion, serious psychological and intellectual problems leading to a regression in learning, adaptation and behaviour in society, a decrease in otherness, cooperation and empathy, withdrawal, loss of spontaneity, and disturbing depressive-type disorders leading to an increase in suicidal ideation.
For some, school has become a phobic experience .
1] Traumatic disorders can be read in particular in the exponential deployment of feelings of shame, sadness and guilt, as well as dissociative symptoms and even episodes of disconnection with reality.
Family and educational environments can no longer contain children’s anxieties, as current health policy is so intrusive and violent towards them, and we wish to argue in particular about the reasons for such a clinical picture.
Sickness and death: a terrified relationship to the body and the living
Children absorb the conditioning of a permanent and latent fear of death every day through the media and within their schools.
The body is now mainly invested through illness. It becomes a persecuting enemy as soon as the slightest symptom appears, leading to feelings of guilt and rejection of the child. Moreover, the body is hunted down and invested by incessant (or even compulsive) hand washing with hydroalcoholic gel, or by reporting a mask that has not been properly put on the face.
The child’s body is also mistreated in certain situations, for example, parents denounce ubuesque situations where the use of the locker in middle and high school is forbidden, for example, children have to carry bags up to 11 kg, and take restrictive and exhausting routes within the school to reach a classroom .
In this article published in the Lancet Child & Adolescent health, the authors emphasize the tragic impact of political measures of social isolation on children and adolescents . They remind us that social interactions are part of basic human needs, as is the basic need to eat or sleep. Feeling insufficiently connected to others has profound and long-lasting negative consequences on physical and mental health, and can even lead to more mortality .
Some biosafety protocols require children to stand on a hut, which hinders the free movement necessary for harmonious psychomotor development, especially in playgrounds.
The mask is experienced both as a muzzle mark and an irrational fetish object that would keep an invisible enemy away. As soon as the child removes his mask to return to a normal life, he may experience terror and guilt. We have feedback from speech therapists and psychologists indicating that children are so afraid of being scolded or dying if they take it off, that they are now blocked from removing the mask.
The reality is that children have an important need to see the faces of the people who care for them: reading faces, expressions, facial expressions, which translates into the universal game of grimaces (sticking out the tongue, etc.); reading the face allows both a learning of the emotions on the other’s face, and a learning of one’s own functions necessary for language and communication.
On September 06, 2020, pediatric professors Christèle Gras-Le Guen, vice-president of the French Society of Pediatrics, and Régis Hankard, coordinator of the Pedstart pediatric clinical research network, are formal: “COVID-19 is not a disease that concerns children. (…) Covid-19 is definitely not a pediatric disease. “5] They add: “The idea that emerges from these observations is that children must above all not be subjected to draconian measures, painful to live with, that could disrupt their daily lives, when this microbe really concerns them very little. »
In spite of this medical observation, children’s complaints about wearing masks can be trivialized, even reprimanded, under the pretext that it would not be so terrible to wear a mask all day (“surgeons wear them well!”). Hence the implicit message that children are no longer allowed to complain about any physical and/or psychological discomfort or discomfort in their daily lives.
Furthermore, on a physiological level, children are deprived of oxygen, which makes everything we say next worse. Wearing the mask continuously makes breathing difficult and accentuates the feeling of anxiety. 6] Doctors are also observing an increase in respiratory problems such as asthmatiform bronchitis. 7] The lack of oxygenation of the brain leads to deficits in concentration, attention and memory, which may lead to more children failing at school, not to mention the repercussions on their immunity.
Dr. Margarite Griesz-Brisson, a medical doctor, consulting neurologist and neurophysiologist with a doctorate in pharmacology, warns of the seriousness of a problem of oxygen and carbon dioxide saturation: according to her, “for children and adolescents, masks are an absolute must” in order to allow the development of the immune system and the deployment of the brain.
Serious disruptions in living together and socialization
Fear and terror are the watchwords of this health policy, in which the other is no longer another to be tamed, but a potential enemy that everyone must be wary of, keeping distances that hinder any learning of fraternity and solidarity.
This permanent mistrust is likely to lead to a feeling of persecution which, if it is reinforced, as we can see by dissociative disorders and a lack of empathy, may eventually lead to self-aggressive (suicidal behaviour) or hetero-aggressive (assault and battery, impulsive behaviour, degradation) acts, as well as disorders of a delirious nature (persecution).
We have received feedback from teachers, parents and children concerning the development of behaviors that are no longer appropriate in elementary school (e.g., falling asleep in class, insolence in front of an authority whose legitimacy is no longer recognized by the children because of the violence they have suffered, harassment between students and violent acts, particularly during lunchtime).
The occurrence of new forms of abuse within schools
The current health policy is leading to the occurrence of new abuses in schools. These abuses are of various kinds: incitement to denounce other children or members of one’s own family, incitement by teachers to denounce children who make “manifestly unacceptable comments,” isolation and rejection, stigmatization, exclusion, contempt for the vulnerability of certain children, the presence of law enforcement forces around and sometimes within schools, and harassment.
The equal treatment of vulnerable children adds abuse coupled with discrimination to an already difficult situation. For example, children already presenting language disorders are doubly affected; asthmatic and/or phobic children experience increased anxiety and aggravated psychosomatic consequences; children with hearing problems can no longer hold on to facial expression (facial expression is one of the 5 parameters of sign language. Without this parameter, the sign loses its intensity value and no longer has the same meaning); autistic children have increased difficulties in analysing faces, which aggravates the social deficit they already suffer from. All the psycho-educational accompaniment is thus completely overturned; the work carried out until then over several months (or even years) is destroyed (learning facial expressions, facial expressions, decoding emotions).
In some autistic adolescents, the deadly media coverage reinforces their mental rigidity, and amplifies the anxiety disorders already present. Access to emotions is made extremely problematic by the wearing of the mask. Children no longer learn to read emotions correctly on the adult’s face, which reinforces processes of loss of affect. The removal of the mask in adults leads to anxiety in young children, who then experience the adult’s face as threatening. The other is perceived as an enemy, which severely hinders the development of otherness. The relationship to the body, the loss of access to humanity as well as general confusion (cf. infra) lead to behavioral disorders and, for some children, a loss of the sense of reality, which can also lead to psychotic disorders.
The younger the child, the greater this risk.
A hindrance to psycho-affective, relational and psychomotor development and regressions in learning.
At the age of 6, the child has not yet reached the logical stage, and still lives in a world of magical thinking. His psycho-affective and relational development is today prevented (e.g.: impossible to reassure himself by a smile or expressions on the face of the adult around him).
The developmental psychologist and American academic Edward Tronick demonstrated in his research (the “Still Face Experiment”) that an infant is in constant search of sharing with his mother, and that he is in serious psychic distress in front of the absence of interactions, or the inexpressivity of a face or its impassivity. This has a serious direct impact on his emotional development and the bond of attachment. The child is sensitive to three elements: facial expressions, vocalizations and body postures. The mask today comes to hinder what this American psychologist calls the fundamental expressive units, i.e. the capacity for the young child to grow up without episodes of distress in the face of the inexpressiveness of the face of the referring adults around him. Wearing the mask of the people around him, preventing access to the smile and facial features, de facto generates this inexpressivity and therefore seriously compromises the psychological development of young children.
From the age of 4 to 6 weeks, babies start to make lip movements and react to their environment in this way to show the pleasure they experience in interacting with it. Giving and seeing a smile has positive effects on well-being, development and learning . 15] This mechanism can be explained at the neurological level with the recent discovery of “mirror neurons” or empathy neurons that allow us to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes and imitate their behaviors. These neurons are said to be particularly sensitive to smiling.
By suppressing the smile behind the mask, a very important neutralization of empathy takes place in the adult towards the child but also in the child towards the adults around him. This empathy is necessary for the development of confidence in social relationships and therefore, by suppressing the access to the smile, the wearing of the mask is very damaging to the blossoming and the psycho-affective development of children.
The suppression of the face through masks as well as the constraints exerted on the bodies lead to clear regressions in the relational and intellectual development of the child and a loss of vital impetus to communicate. For many children, socialization begins with school and the discovery of the rules of living together, as well as the authority of the teacher. So who is this master who has no identity, how to recognize his mood, how to know if he is nice, or human?
It should be noted that this problem of recognition also concerns adults, a school teacher told us that he confused mothers and gave a child back to another. A psychologist also confused one mother with another when she went to fetch the child from the waiting room. This is a serious child protection issue, and the safety of the children is at risk.
Language is linked to emotions, there is a need to read facial and mouth expressions and to hear audibly a voice and the emotions that accompany it. Giving up this form of communication consisting of reading language and facial signs amounts to giving up non-verbal communication and its subtleties, the irony and humour that invokes facial mimics, the analysis of paradoxical communication… What coherence is there today with the deployment within institutions of sign language in the name of “inclusion”?
Moreover, cutting off access to an essential means of communication diminishes the receptivity of others.
Christophe Leroy, PhD in molecular and cellular biology, sums up the seriousness of the situation as follows: “At the age when they are learning emotions, reading, oral and written expression, movement, balance, they find themselves in playgrounds muzzled, parked in circles or delimited squares, partitioned off indoors with dampers in front of mirrored teachers. Abuse? Without a doubt. Fear, anxiety, stress and immobility remain dominant, which seems to be the new editorial line of this government to educate and develop our children. »
Authority is experienced as dehumanized, robotized, from the point of view of control, excessiveness, surveillance and punishment, without the counterpart that usually makes only educational limits acceptable, namely benevolence, tenderness and the humanization of human relationships through emotions. And this is without counting on the intrusion of the police into schools, with some police officers posted with weapons at the entrances to schools and colleges: what kind of conditioning of terror do we wish to imbue into the children’s psyche?
For example, here is the public testimony of a mother (a former teacher of classical literature for 16 years) for her daughter at the college, and which reflects the testimonies we receive as well as the statements of parents and children in consultation:
“The teachers are more and more obnoxious, except for a minority; one teacher dared to tell her that it was not her mask that prevented her from breathing, but that she “had a problem with her brain”, another accused her of being potentially responsible for the death of her family, another teacher grabbed the copies with pliers, to quarantine them in a bag before touching them…(…) The school nurse spends every two weeks in the classrooms to remind students that they can kill their grandparents, and should not cuddle with their families… ” 
This mother reports various acts of child abuse by teachers, for example:
“How can you tolerate a student being expelled from a class because he has repeatedly tried to breathe by putting the mask under his nose?
How can you tolerate a student being argued and accused of fussing when he or she happens to feel dizzy because of the hypoxia generated by wearing the mask? »
Another example, among the many abuses that seem to arise in schools, of violence by adults against children and was reported to us in direct testimony, is that of a teacher threatening a college student with a lawsuit on the grounds that she had taken off her mask to put a rubber band back on her orthodontic braces!
Thus, referring adults, who are supposed to reassure and protect children, may react in an exacerbated, even irrational way, losing their own discernment and basic security.
A condemnation of tenderness and empathy, an implicit ban on otherness
The social distancing and the wearing of masks, which are compulsory in schools from the age of 6 years old, prohibit in fact the comforting of the child at school by tenderness, which becomes a forbidden and dangerous act and is assimilated as such. The spontaneity of gestures is prohibited, repressed and punished. Tenderness even within the family is reprimanded in the media narrative; social isolation within families is encouraged, under penalty of blackmail to guilt: the child is thus assimilated to a murderer if he spontaneously kissed his grandparents! 
The representation of illness is in itself problematic, seen as a foreign and invisible enemy from which one must protect oneself by moving away from others. Children develop anxieties in relation to what they touch, especially since touch is one of the first senses used in the discovery of the world (remember that babies put objects in their mouths before handling them, to discover the world). Children touch materials, games, clothes, and this is a primordial need in the psychic constitution of the principle of reality). To deprive children of touch is to deprive them of a fundamental sensory access to the world around them, and is a serious abuse with terrible consequences.
Children rely heavily on facial expressions to understand and comprehend their environment: “Hiding the lower half of the face diminishes the ability to communicate, interpret and imitate the expressions of those we come into contact with. Positive emotions become less recognizable and negative emotions are amplified. Emotional mimicry, contagion and emotionality in general are reduced as well as teacher-student bonding, group cohesion and learning – of which emotions are a major driver. » 
The development of elocution is severely hampered, as is that of reading, which also functions by mimicking phonemes on the face of others.
Teachers testify to the difficulties in making themselves heard through the mask, as children become more agitated in class, not having access to correct audibility in the lessons received.
Clear regressions in basic school learning (diction, hearing, reading) and withdrawal are to be feared.
In many kindergartens, spontaneous access to games is forbidden (fear of contagion by toys), which blocks the psychological and motor development of young children.
A major weakening of the benevolent/containing authority and parental posture
The dominant message is one of anxiety about the future.
The role models are sad and obedient adults, made vulnerable by uncertainty about the economic situation (which in turn makes children more vulnerable). The current health policy also weakens the parental posture towards the children, putting parents in the position of children who must obey, which leads to both parental powerlessness and a loss of reference points for the children .
The imaginary and symbolic power of parental authority is in free fall, but let us remember that it is primarily parental authority that reassures children and allows them to grow up in an affective environment that is reassuring for them.
Parents lack arguments, are no longer able to promise that “it’s going to end”, do not necessarily support the dominant and monopolistic media narrative, and do not have the time to prepare their children for the chronic variability of “immediate effect” political decisions announced suddenly.
Parents are thus put in the impossibility to accompany their children in their representations, to guide them and to spare them. They run out of arguments to explain situations that children do not fail to question with their common sense.
A loss of structuring reference points and paradoxical discourse
The situation leads to a loss of reference points with regard to the adult world, experienced as threatening and incoherent. For example, a child testifies that he does not understand why he can go to school but can no longer play in the street with his friends as he used to.
The paradox is also present in the collusion between the deadly adult discourse addressed to children, and the learning at school of very surprising songs about an “extraterrestrial virus” or warriors, such as “le covid on en viendra tous à bout à bout”, according to the testimonies we collect.
Hygienic precautions are pushed to the absurd: prohibition to wash hands in certain establishments to avoid touching the tap, withdrawal in groups (prohibition to mix between classes during recreation) etc..
School is no longer the place to learn socialization, but the place to learn social distancing. It is no longer the place for living together but for marking the distrust of all against all. The social bond is under attack: relatives become potential enemies, we are swimming in educational paradoxes.
Are children going to want to grow up to belong to the adult world as we are presenting it to them? Or are they going to disconnect and take refuge in the imagination by refusing to grow up, feelings of omnipotence with acting out, or delirious ideas with derealization? Not to mention the increase in the use of screens, already quite problematic, resulting in the flight from reality and social ties within the family space itself.
The educational paradox also concerns ecology, with regard to the contamination of the ambient environment due to the hydro-alcoholic gel, as well as the waste produced this year (gloves, masks, etc.) on a planetary scale, but also the relationship with nature: is a virus really an enemy external to our organism that should be fought? Do we really have to slaughter entire herds of animals carrying a virus or is the idea of eradicating a virus by killing its living carrier more of a dangerous primitive thought of a psychotic type?
Children are now stigmatized, whereas in the first period of the year 2020, they were considered harmless. Wearing a mask is experienced as an arbitrary gesture; many submit to orders experienced as arbitrary in order to “have no problem” without understanding the meaning of what is being asked of them. As soon as a child scratches his nose, or lowers his mask, he is forced to isolate himself and/or argue.
Finally, the children swim in psychological confusion in the face of vague, changing, contradictory, arbitrary and only punitive rules. They experience themselves as “bad”, since they are, depending on the moment, punished by group games and playgrounds; school outings can be cancelled, slides closed and what about access to libraries?
It is urgent to come to your senses…
If we consider these elements from the therapeutic point of view, in this case we are dealing with a preventive treatment, that is how the wearing of masks by children and their distance from school is presented to us, it is necessary, as with any treatment, including preventive treatment, to evaluate its risk/benefit ratio.
First of all, let us recall what is the direct objective currently sought by this preventive treatment (the “benefit”): to reduce the circulation of the SARS-Cov-2 virus (or COVID-19 virus) in the school population and consequently in the general population, i.e. in practice, the number of contaminated persons. The success of this objective would depend on secondary objectives such as the reduction in the number of hospitalized patients and especially the number of severe forms admitted to intensive care units, as well as the mortality due to this disease, a link that is indeed probable from an epidemiological point of view, although a temporal link (the reduction in the number of symptomatic patients after these measures) does not of itself imply a causal link and would have to be supported by other arguments in an adequate methodology.
This approach to prevention in schools (the wearing of masks and social distancing, renamed physical distancing) only considers it from a passive point of view, a sort of Maginot line against the virus, without really taking into account the defence capacities proper to each individual, apart, paradoxically, from those who are weakened, the “fragile”. This confirms the obvious: a human being’s personal immune defenses play a major role in countering the development of an infectious disease. The great difficulties in curative or preventive treatment of infections in patients suffering from congenital or acquired immune deficiency are proof a contrario.
It is generally accepted with strong scientific presumptions, both historical and current, that many factors that have been developed earlier in this article are involved in the state of each individual’s immune defenses at a given point in his or her life, alongside initial constitutional characteristics or chronic diseases. It is for example, and whatever the age, the hygiene of life (air breathed, natural light, living space, physical activity, living environment, circadian rhythms such as sleep-watch, school or professional activities and their productions, etc., all these elements being strongly disturbed by life in confinement), the diet and the conditions of meals, finally and especially the importance of the state of one’s psychic mood. Numerous studies have shown that a depressed mood (a fortiori a depression), as well as chronic anxiety, diminish the immune defences of the sufferer. Social factors play an important role in these psychological states, and the cohesion of the group and the quality of the emotional relationships with the entourage are important elements in their prevention or treatment. For the youngest, who have less means of taking emotional distance than adults, the wearing of masks, social distance and even confinement are obviously, in view of the elements developed above, contrary to the elements favourable to the development of a good personal immunity.
Coming back more specifically to the wearing of masks in schools, what can we expect in terms of contamination? Its only real action is to limit the quantity of sputum and other particles emitted by the mouth and nose. Its purpose is not to protect the wearer from these particles, but to protect the surrounding area: the surgical mask protects the surgical field, not the surgeon. In the best of cases the mask worn by children can only partially limit contamination between them during school time. The physical distance imposed (which thus becomes in fact a social distance) can indeed increase this limitation of contamination, but any child in elementary school can question himself and his parents about what he observes. Questions such as: Why is this physical distance no longer necessary on public transport since the wearing of masks is compulsory for adults? Or: why are both only compulsory at school? Is the school situation much more dangerous than any other in his daily life (since outside of school, as we can see for ourselves, some of the children continue to play and talk normally with each other)? And if school is indeed dangerous, why do they continue to be sent to it? What would you say if you were the parents?
As no serious evaluation of these “anti-contamination-diffusion of the virus” actions seems to have been made, they are struggling to answer questions that they themselves are asking themselves, which brings us back to the decline in children’s confidence in the protective parental role explained above. The same is true in children’s relationships with the adults who teach them, when they have not developed the much more toxic feelings of mistrust and guilt described earlier in this article. At present, the feeling of guilt (and not only of responsibility for plagiarizing certain old responses of “decision-makers” in previous tragic cases) is, moreover, quite general among children, without them understanding what they may have done wrong, especially the youngest ones, and they carry it over to the guilty messages of certain adults: the little misdeeds of wearing a mask, the games or discussions among themselves, etc., which they cannot help but do, like the children they are. The questioning of their responsibility for the mortal risk they would pose to their grandparents or other fragile people close to them is particularly culpable, whereas the data transmitted to us on these routes of contamination by children are very patchy and contradictory.
In the end, this possible but unverified (nor humanly verifiable) decrease in contamination between children during school hours is most likely a negligible quantity in the spread of the current epidemic waves of COVID 19. The undesirable effects of this prevention observed during the use of masks and the distance between children in the school environment (and more generally, the generalized anxiety that accompanies them), i.e. the “risks” of the “risk/benefit” ratio are therefore very present and important. They thus appear to predominate over the “benefits”, which would necessitate a re-evaluation of this ratio, since a treatment, whether preventive or curative, can only be evaluated by its overall clinical result and not by that of a single part of its effects. This re-evaluation could allow for a re-examination of the health measures in place in the school setting.
Another element of prevention during an epidemic, which we hear about frequently, is the acquisition of a sufficient number of immunized people in a population to stop the spread of the virus within it and thus also protect those who have not yet been contaminated. For this new virus, this rate can currently only be estimated on the basis of previous epidemics by other viruses more or less similar to it. Whatever it is, it does not seem to have been reached so far in most of the world’s populations, given the current pandemic. This group immunity can only be acquired by a sufficient number of individuals immunized after contamination by the virus circulating between members of this group. This underscores the importance of the personal immunity of each member of this group and the desirability of having the best possible personal immunity. The strategy of limiting the spread of a virus can only delay the acquisition of herd immunity rather than stop the epidemic. Rather, it is in the interest of staggering the evolution of the epidemic so that the available care capacities are not exceeded in the event of a spike, which is understandable.
This is not the first time in the history of human-to-human transmission epidemics that we have been confronted with such a situation, and we are even currently facing it for infectious agents other than COVID 19. As a reminder, let us mention three cases due to different kinds of infectious agents:
That of chicken pox, due to a virus, which was rampant in the form of epidemics with seasonal reinforcements. It was highly contagious in the child population, almost exclusively in mild or relatively benign forms. Serious, potentially fatal forms were only seen in immunocompromised children (e.g. leukemia). The preventive strategy then consisted, as soon as a chicken pox epidemic began, in protecting these few unfortunate children by putting them in a green environment without contact with other children, grandparents for example, with distance education. It was not a question of slowing down the spread of the virus, but on the contrary of encouraging it in the entourage of the child concerned, as for example among his brothers and sisters, so that they would constitute an effective barrier for his return. The “shield” children thus felt valued by their role after being explained the reasons for the removal of the sick child.
Another disease is whooping cough, which is caused by a bacterium. Not so harmless in children, it remains very dangerous in newborns. The current strategy is therefore to establish a health barrier around him, by checking the immunity status of all the people who will have to take care of him during his first months of life.
Third case, that of toxoplasmosis, which is a parasitosis. Infection during childhood most often goes unnoticed, whereas during pregnancy it frequently leads to serious malformations and even death of the foetus. Here again, the strategy consists in favoring the acquisition of immunity by the absence of measures preventing spontaneous contamination by the toxoplasmas at a period of life when it is of no consequence: childhood (except in case of immune deficiency, of course), or even in favoring it by contact with one of the animals transmitting the parasite and that children love to pet: the cat.
In these three situations, the strategy adopted is that of individual protection of people likely to contract a serious form of the disease, while promoting the acquisition of a collective immune barrier capable of protecting them in replacement of this individual protection which can only be temporary for many reasons. The undesirable effects of such provisional measures must be minimized and, where possible, the views of those concerned should be sought (e.g. grandparents in institutions in relation to contact with their grandchildren in the current epidemic). It is from this perspective that the protection of teachers and other childcare professionals, who probably take fewer risks with the children they encounter during their work, could be considered than by running into someone on the sidewalk in the middle of a run without a mask.
To summarize these paragraphs, it is advisable to ask ourselves whether current health measures concerning children in schools and other settings do not fall more under the rubric of phobia than hygiene (and we are beginning to discover the role of microbe nosophobia in allergic diseases) as well as scientism rather than clinical medicine in its somatic and psychological components.
It is urgent to regain reason and to clearly formulate the questions posed by this epidemic if we want to be able to find adequate answers to the situation it imposes on us, without having to aggravate it by our actions, as is the case with any well-understood therapy.
Our clinical survey is very alarming, and points to a health policy that does not suffer from any dispute in its certainties, but which seems very disconnected from the real lived experience and the serious and serious psychological and physiological disorders that it generates on the population in general, and the children in particular.
“Now we no longer go to school to work but to be scolded” has become a recurrent discourse heard in our consultations. Soon, all children will be traumatized by going to school and will not want to grow up, as they feel open hostility towards them from the adult world. Psychic suffering and associated disorders in children are therefore in full “explosion” .
19] Childhood is today used as a hazardous experimental field, particularly in terms of institutionalized manipulative techniques (see BVA nudge units supra), where the violence of an adult world governed by anguish focused on death and illness traumatically intrudes into the world of childhood, totally and abusively suppressing its right to a containing authority, to a secure structure favoring learning, robbing it of its innocence, its joy of life and its serenity.
It would be comfortable to rely on children’s capacity to adapt and resilience in the face of abuse, but this should in no way allow us to avoid a professional position.
This is why we call upon child professionals in particular, and adults in general, to speak out publicly with discernment, responsibility and benevolence, in order to put a stop to this systemic abuse, help promote a reasonable and measured approach, and thus guarantee the protection of the children of the people of France.
Additional references (non-exhaustive)
“The right of everyone to breathe air that does not harm their health”, by Marianne Moliner-Dubost (lecturer)
Wearing a mask: the journey of the fighter of a schoolboy with asthma, describing the mockery and isolation suffered by a schoolboy, now living a ordeal in his school activities; the mother, having insisted on the child’s return to school, was held in police custody for 8 hours.
Testimony: in college, the right to breathe clean air is relegated to the toilets
Masked education? The benefits and burdens of wearing face masks in schools during the current Corona pandemic, Trends Neuroscience Educ. 2020 Sep; 20, 11 August 2020
Mandatory wearing of masks for children is abuse, August 21, 2020, by Doctors G. Delépine, surgical oncologist and N. Delépine, pediatric oncologist.
1] These disorders of a phobic nature are also to be found among teachers in our consultations, some of them being on sick leave for this reason, others wishing to resign and no longer feeling able to transmit serenely under such conditions.
3] The effects of social deprivation on adolescent development and mental health, The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, Volume 4, Issue 8, August 1, 2020.
4] Baumeister RF Leary MR. The need to belong: desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychol Bull. 1995; 117: 497-529
Hawkley LC, Cacioppo JT. Loneliness matters: a theoretical and empirical review of consequences and mechanisms. Ann Behav Med. 2010; 40: 218-227
Mask mandates may affect a child’s emotional, intellectual development, Dr Mary Gillis, July 23, 2020.
6] Chen Y, Zhou Z, Min W. Mitochondria, Oxidative Stress and Innate Immunity. Front Physiol 2018 ;9 :1487. Doi :10.3389/fphys.2018.01487
Founder and Medical Director of The London Neurology & Pain Clinic Ltd, Specialized Clinic exclusively on Physiology, Neurotoxicology and Primary Prevention Medicolegal Expert in the USA, UK, Germany, Switzerland, Norway. As this lack of oxygen due to the wearing of the mask is described as “fake news”, we would like to remind you that this contradicts common sense clinical observations and feedback made in particular by children and athletes. Let us therefore ask athletes if they obtain the same results by training with a mask or not, and this will allow us to validate by experience the validity of these theoretical assertions.
Soon, we will also have to argue about why plants should not be watered with oil!
14] The government has institutionally equipped itself with a unit of experts in behavioral sciences (BVA nudge unit at the heart of Matignon) for the government campaign. Nudge is a theory of behavioral economics developed by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sustein (2008 “Nudge: The Soft Way to Inspire the Right Decision”). Also called gentle manipulation, nudge exploits our reflexes by jostling them with cognitive biases such as loss aversion, emotion, reciprocity, group effect, mental accounts or emotions. This tool allows us to unconsciously modify people’s behaviour to achieve a desired behaviour.
France culture has dedicated a program on this manipulative management of the health crisis. Children are thus massively confronted with the bludgeoning of these communication campaign messages manipulating our cognitive biases to condemn the most elementary gestures of tenderness and empathy. https://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/signes-des-temps/le-nudge-et-le-comportementalisme
17] Mask mandates may affect a child’s emotional, intellectual development, Dr. Mary Gillis, July 23, 2020. Young children especially rely on facial expressions to understand situations.
18] We refer to Laurence Leroy’s article, “Fragilization of the parental position in the exercise of parental authority and ²syndrome of alienation²”.
19] “In the north-east of Paris, there has been a doubling of suicide attempts among minors under 15 years of age compared to last year (…). Since the start of the school year in September, a child under 15 years of age has been arriving almost every day at the Robert-Debré emergency room for a suicide attempt, compared to about one every three days a year before.
Author(s): Professionals in psychology, psychoanalysis, pediatrics and child psychiatry for FranceSoir
Please read the full article on the website of France Soir (in French) here.