Introduction: The COVID-19 Generation – Children and Youth In and After the Pandemic

Marcelo Suárez-Orozco | PASS Academician

Introduction: The COVID-19 Generation – Children and Youth In and After the Pandemic

A virus that does not recognize barriers, borders, or cultural or political distinctions must be faced with a love without barriers, borders or distinctions. This love can generate social structures that encourage us to share rather than to compete, that allow us to include the most vulnerable and not to cast them aside, and that help us to express the best in our human nature and not the worst. True love does not know the throw-away culture, it does not know what it is. In fact, when we love and generate creativity, when we generate trust and solidarity, it is then that concrete initiatives for the common good emerge.
Pope Francis, September 9, 2020

Millions of children and youth around the world are experiencing COVID-19 damage and dislocation that will likely mark their development for years to come (Yousafzai, Ghazi, and Bloom, this volume; McCartney and Fenlason, this volume). COVID-19 removed children from the normative pathways that lead them to master culturally determined milestones in the maturational, socio-emotional, cognitive, and moral realms. It robbed them of many of the rituals and routines that structure and give predictability to daily life (see Sithole, this volume). The pandemic took from them the joy of socializing with other youth, and the love and support of caretakers, teachers, mentors, and extended family members. It dramatically disrupted access to school, playgrounds, health care, vaccinations, nutrition, sports, and other scaffolding needed for appropriate psychosocial development. In UNICEF’s somber assessment, “Across virtually every key measure of childhood, progress has gone backward in the 12 months since the pandemic was declared, leaving children confronting a devastating and distorted new normal”. COVID-19 is the undertow most likely to drown the realization of Sustainable Development Goal 4.2: “by 2030 ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education”. As Hans Zollner, of the Pontifical Gregorian University, summarizes, “The COVID-19 pandemic is probably the most comprehensive and complex challenge to human dignity and care, especially for vulnerable persons, that the world’s population has faced since the end of World War II” (this volume).

A growing body of research suggests that while the rate of transmission “symptom presentation, and fatality is lower in children than people from other age groups, they have been disproportionately affected by strict lockdown measures needed to curb viral spread” (Manivannan, et al., 2021).[1] According to Yousafzai, Ghazi, and Bloom,

The pandemic has impacted every aspect of nurturing care in the short and longer term: young children’s physical and mental health, safety, security, access to food and healthy nutrition, and opportunities to learn, and it has disrupted childhood immunization schedules, triggering the largest backslide in childhood vaccinations in 30 years. In 2021, 25 million children missed out on one or more doses of vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis – 2 million more than in 2020 and 6 million more than in 2019 (this volume).

Children and youth are growing up in a world that saw significant increases in COVID morbidity and mortality “with the World Health Organization estimating excess mortality between January 2020 and December 2021 at nearly 15 million deaths” (Ibid.).[2] As of early 2023, the pandemic had infected well over half a billion people globally.[3] Furthermore, new research has identified a debilitating illness, so-called long COVID, infecting at “least 65 million individuals worldwide … with cases increasing daily”. Millions of children have lost parents and caretakers. According to Imperial College London data, over 10.7 million children have lost a primary or secondary caregiver to COVID. The consequences for millions of children are devastating “including institutionalization, abuse, traumatic grief, mental health problems, adolescent pregnancy, poor educational outcomes, and chronic and infectious diseases”. Worse still, the suffering is unequal: “While COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations are declining in some parts of the world, in low-income countries the COVID-19 death toll is four times higher than in high-income countries. Additionally, one-third of the world’s population remains unvaccinated in low-income countries. These conditions pose a continuing threat of orphanhood from COVID-19”. Based on World Health Organization data, the “countries with the highest numbers of bereaved children in Southeast Asia included Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Nepal and in Africa included Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa” (Ibid.)[4] Sithole writes, scholars “speak of ‘bad deaths’ in their vivid description of pain and trauma of families nursing and losing their loved ones in sub-Saharan Africa. Many family members feel they did not give their family members the send-off they deserve by way of funerals. This has created a lingering feeling of guilt and pain for people already traumatized by loss” (Sithole, this volume).

Millions of children are in COVID-mourning. They face losses that are at once immediate and concrete as well as ambiguous and distal. In the United States, the country with the most COVID deaths (over 1.1 million as of early 2023), more than 300,000 children are COVID orphans, having lost a parent or primary caregiver to the pandemic. Underserved, minoritized populations face exceptionally severe losses. Analyses of U.S. federal, state, and local data reveal “particularly large disparities in cases and deaths for Black and American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) people and in cases among Hispanic people compared to their White counterparts” (Ibid.). Youth in minoritized populations have been ravaged by COVID-related parental and caretaker losses. American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander children “lost caregivers at rates of nearly 4 times the rate of White children; Black and Hispanic children at nearly 2.5 times the rate of White children; and Asian children at 1.6 times that of White children” (Ibid.).[5]

‘Coping with Not Coping’: COVID Trauma Emerging Psycho-Social Considerations

COVID-19 is leaving in its wake an empire of suffering and loss. In the words of Pearl Sithole of the University of the Free State South Africa, under COVID, “societies had to learn to cope with not coping” (this volume).

Distress became the pandemic within the pandemic. In a rare advisory on youth mental health, the United States Surgeon General reports:

Since the pandemic began, rates of psychological distress among young people, including symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders, have increased. Recent research covering 80,000 youth globally found that depressive and anxiety symptoms doubled during the pandemic, with 25% of youth experiencing depressive symptoms and 20% experiencing anxiety symptoms. Negative emotions or behaviors such as impulsivity and irritability – associated with conditions such as ADHD – appear to have moderately increased. Early clinical data are also concerning: In early 2021, emergency department visits in the United States for suspected suicide attempts were 51% higher for adolescent girls and 4% higher for adolescent boys compared to the same time period in early 2019. Moreover, pandemic-related measures reduced in-person interactions among children, friends, social supports, and professionals such as teachers, school counselors, pediatricians, and child welfare workers. This made it harder to recognize signs of child abuse, mental health concerns, and other challenges.
Researchers have identified risk factors contributing to the development of symptomatology during the pandemic. These include (a) Having mental health challenges before the pandemic; (b) Living in an urban area or an area with more severe COVID-19 outbreaks; (c) Having parents or caregivers who were frontline workers; Having parents or caregivers at elevated risk of burnout (for example, due to parenting demands); Being worried about COVID-19; Experiencing disruptions in routine, such as not seeing friends or going to school in person; Experiencing more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) such as abuse, neglect, community violence, and discrimination; Experiencing more financial instability, food shortages, or housing instability; Experiencing trauma, such as losing a family member or caregiver to COVID.

COVID brought pharaonic suffering on humanity. The pandemic embodies all the characteristics of a “wicked problem”.[6] It will take generations to discern its full sequela. Research itself was impacted. As Pearl Sithole notes, the “pandemic disturbed most professional routines. This includes social research, which was plunged into make-shift situations that require careful strategizing around accessing data” (this volume). Thus, there are significant limitations to the available data. Furthermore, as McCartney and Fenlason note, from “a methodological perspective, it is not possible to isolate the impact of COVID-19 from other factors, because all developmental outcomes are the product of multiple influences: genetic predispositions, the environment, and the correlation and interaction between the two”. While a plethora of studies began to appear in scholarly journals, our exhaustive review of the literature assessing the first two years of the pandemic did not identify experimental studies tracing pathways and mechanisms of COVID’s impacts on children and youth. As the Argentine cognitive neuroscientist Sebastián Lipina warns, the preponderance of the available data comes from “researchers, governments, NGOs, think-tanks and multilateral organizations (e.g., UNICEF, UNDP, ECLAC, and IDB), [basing the work] on surveys and questionnaires conducted virtually or remotely” (Lipina, this volume). In the chapters that follow, therefore, we proceed with caution in interpreting the available evidence:

(In) almost the entire world, scientific activity was also widely interrupted since the beginning of the pandemic, and in general there were many difficulties in resuming field work, as well as in carrying out remote studies more specific than surveys. Nonetheless, some research groups began to make changes in their methodologies and to carry out virtual studies – some of them with longitudinal designs – that are still under development (Lipina, this volume).

Yet, as McCartney and Fenlason (this volume) note, there “is consistent evidence that mental health outcomes, such as anxiety and depression, increased dramatically across the world following the COVID-19 pandemic”. According to Hans Zollner, “The first scientifically validated evidence of the negative impact of prolonged quarantine on children’s lives comes from a study of the situation in Italy and Spain, the two European countries that were particularly hard hit by the pandemic.[7] This study evidences a deterioration in emotional state and behavior, especially through concentration difficulties and of feelings such as boredom, irritability and loneliness. However, Spanish children seem to have been more affected than their Italian peers” (Zollner, this volume).

Scholars using a range of methodologies report significant increases in mood disorders, including depression and dysthymia, as well as anxiety, clinginess, distraction, irritability, panic, regressive behaviors, and loneliness, inter alia. An analysis of 116 peer-reviewed articles with data on 127,923 children and adolescents and 50,984 child and adolescent proxy reports (e.g., parents, healthcare practitioners) examined a range of COVID-19-related mental health impacts on children and adolescents. The researchers found more depressive and anxious symptoms compared with pre-pandemic estimates. The data suggest that older adolescents, girls, and children and adolescents living with neurodiversity and/or chronic physical conditions were more likely to experience negative mental health outcomes. The researchers also identified mental health deterioration among children and adolescents due to COVID-19 pandemic control measures. The data also revealed a high prevalence of COVID-19-related fears among children and adolescents[8] (see also McCartney and Fenlason, this volume).

The emerging comparative record echoes a range of psycho-social concerns. In a survey of “60,000 caregivers in Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Peru, 61% of the youngest children reported at least one symptom of mental distress” (Yousafzai, Ghazi, and Bloom, this volume). A Lancet study on child mental health in the UK examined the results of England’s Mental Health of Children and Young People (MHCYP) survey. More than a quarter of children (aged 5-16 years) and young people (aged 17-22) reported disrupted sleep and one in ten reported “often” or “always” feeling lonely.[9] Many were fearful to leave the house. Parents – compared with working age adults without young children, experienced larger than average increases in mental distress during the pandemic. Notably, youths with a parent in psychological distress were more likely to have mental health problems. These youths were more than twice as likely to live in households newly falling behind on bills, rent, or mortgage payments compared with those whose families were able to pay their bills. One in ten children and younger people reported not having enough to eat or increased reliance on foodbanks. 44.6% of 17-22-year-olds with probable mental health problems saw disruptions in access to health care. The data revealed a wide range of COVID-related challenges: 12% of children had no reliable Internet access at home; 19% had no quiet space to work; and 26.9% did not have a desk at which they could study.

A study of Children’s Mental Health in Canada examined internalizing symptomatology indexed by irritability, generalized anxiety, panic/somatization, depressive, and PTSD symptom severity qua perceived social support. It found broad impacts of the pandemic on children’s psychological distress, as assessed by both children and parents/guardians, including higher irritability, anxiety, depressive symptoms, and reduced well-being. Higher perceived social support availability from family and friends was associated with moderately lower severity of irritability, anxiety, depressive, and PTSD symptoms and attenuated increases in psychological distress. These findings are generally consistent with emerging research in disparate Canadian contexts.[10] Other North American researchers found that neurodevelopmentally atypical and complex learners – youth with dyslexia, spectrum disorders, and other disabilities, experienced significant negative COVID-related mental health, socio-emotional and physical outcomes “(including [less] sleep, [poor] diets, [less] exercise, [more] use of electronic media; and increased symptoms of child neurodevelopmental disability [NDD] and comorbidities)”. 

Researchers in China gathered data using a cross-sectional survey of 3613 students ages 7 to 18 in 20 mainland provinces.[11] They found high levels of anxiety and depression in children and adolescents flowing from fear of self, family, and/or friend infection. Socioeconomic status and living in urban areas, inter alia, contributed to higher levels of anxiety and depression in children and adolescents.[12] Other research in China found elevated signs of inattention, clinging, worry and irritability in children and youth aged 3-18 years.[13]

A plethora of studies deploying distinct methodologies and different conceptual frameworks paint a picture of the dangerous mental health undertows children and youth face as they struggle to navigate the ebbs and flows of COVID-19 globally.[14] Isomorphic patterns of psycho-social suffering are emerging from country-specific research in Argentina,[15] India,[16] Jordan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Qatar, Australia and elsewhere[17] (see also, Lipina, this volume).

Poverty, Violence, and Migration in the Age of COVID

COVID-19 has been a powerful accelerant of inequality (see Sachs, 2022). As Harvard’s Mary Waters notes, “social scientists have demonstrated that this pandemic has exacerbated inequalities and caused greater harm and suffering to those at the bottom of societal hierarchies, even while the global elite has grown more wealthy and more powerful as investment soared” (this volume). Indeed, the pandemic at once revealed and intensified preexisting gross inequalities in opportunities for children and youth to flourish:

COVID-19 has spotlighted the gaping holes in the world’s institutions, policies, and collective commitments to safeguard the wellbeing of our disadvantaged, our vulnerable, and our young children. Our failure to fill these gaps is indefensible on moral, ethical, and humanitarian grounds. It is indefensible in terms of the world’s stated commitment to human rights. It is indefensible in terms of our collective interest in building cohesive, peaceful, equitable, secure, and politically stable societies. It is indefensible on grounds of economic rationality and investment in a sustainable, long-term future (Yousafzai, Ghazi, and Bloom, this volume).

It is estimated that COVID-19 increased child poverty significantly – by over 15 percent. Well over a billion children are now growing up in poor households. Underserved and minoritized youth in particular are experiencing alarming levels of food insecurity (see also Sithole, this volume), child abuse, child trafficking,[18] suicide attempts,[19] and risk of firearm injury

COVID-19 put millions of children on the streets and at risk of abuse, trafficking and exploitation (see Farley, 2022). David Bloom and Maddalena Ferranna of the Harvard School of Public Health summarize COVID’s impact on children and youth as, “degrading the emotional and mental health of students, and increasing the risk of domestic violence and abuse”.

During the COVID‐19 pandemic, a crisis occurred in the form of an upsurge in violence toward children… Numerous factors such as stress, poverty, and financial situation, history of violence, school closures, and lack of contact with support organizations contribute to this phenomenon. Social action and support needed is the right of every child in need in this critical situation. Health Sci Rep. 2022 Sep; 5(5): e790. Published online 2022 Aug 17. doi: 10.1002/hsr2.790

A study of twelve peer-reviewed publications noted,

A rise in physical, psychological, and neglect kinds of abuse, according to the results of the review of studies.22,2324272930313233, 3436 Four articles reported a reduction in the incidence of child abuse,283537 …The reporting of abuse was hindered during this time of quarantine owing to a lack of contact and access by children to centers, schools, or relatives and acquaintances.4041

The World Health Organization global status report on preventing violence against children, warns of the dramatic impact of COVID-19. Abused children, missing children, children of forcibly displaced migrants, and children trapped in slavery are enduring acute suffering that COVID-19 has made harder to survey, prevent, and heal (see Farley 2022). Indeed, the scourge of modern slavery accelerated during the pandemic as the number of children in “child labor has risen to 160 million worldwide – an increase of 8.4 million children in the last four years – with millions more at risk due to the impacts of COVID-19, according to a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and UNICEF”.

According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), human trafficking has become more hidden under COVID-19. In its most recent report, UNODC states, “The pandemic has increased vulnerabilities to trafficking in persons while making trafficking even harder to detect and leaving victims struggling to obtain help and access to justice”. COVID-19 has also increased trafficking in persons from countries experiencing the fastest and most persistent drops in employment. And “Children account for about one third of the detected victims of trafficking”.

Women, children, and migrants have been identified by survey and interview participants as particularly vulnerable to recruitment and exploitation during the pandemic.

Women and girls have been recruited, often locally or online, for sexual exploitation, especially in private apartments. Children have been particularly affected – out of school and needing to support parents who have lost their livelihoods, children have been increasingly targeted by traffickers at the local level and online. They have been trafficked for sexual purposes, forced marriage, forced begging and for forced criminality. There is clear evidence of increased demand for child sexual exploitation materials (CSEM), which has exacerbated the exploitation of children around the world.

COVID-19 has put millions of children at risk for diverse and complex reasons. First, research has shown that extreme poverty compromises socio-emotional and cognitive development, health, and wellness in vulnerable populations. Poverty is yet another pandemic within the pandemic, extracting a heavy toll on children and youth across the world (Barber II, this volume). As Lipina suggests, “Different poverty indicators are associated with lower cognitive and academic performance during several stages of development. Psychological and neural evidence generated in recent years suggests the need to review the interpretations of these associations in the sense of deficit, and to consider the occurrence of adaptive processes instead” (Lipina, 2022).

According to the World Bank,

The world’s poorest have faced two extraordinarily difficult years. The pandemic has caused unprecedented reversals in poverty reduction that are further exacerbated by rising inflation and the effects of the war in Ukraine. We estimate that these combined crises will lead to an additional 75 million to 95 million people living in extreme poverty in 2022, compared to pre-pandemic projections. If the more pessimistic scenario plays out, 2022 could be the second-worst year in terms of progress made in reducing extreme poverty this century – behind only 2020, when there was an actual increase in global poverty. 

Even as progress is made, global hunger and malnutrition continue to cripple millions globally and the pandemic is reversing important gains. The war in Ukraine is another factor. Food prices are near all-time highs, and “the Agricultural Commodity Price Index is 25% higher than its January 2021 level. Maize and wheat prices are 20% and 25% higher, respectively, than their January 2021 levels, and rice prices are about 21% lower”. For the world’s poor, the taste of COVID is hunger.

Millions are suffering from chronic hunger, regularly not getting enough food to lead active lives. “Between 720 and 811 million people in the world went hungry in 2020, according to the UN report on the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World. Looking at the middle of the projected range (768 million), around 118 million more people were facing chronic hunger in 2020 than in 2019. Using a different indicator that tracks year-round access to adequate food, nearly 2.37 billion people (or 30% of the global population) lacked access to adequate food in 2020 – a rise of 320 million in just one year”.

In the United States, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data, more than 42 million people, including 12 million children, are food insecure. And the “pandemic has increased food insecurity among families with children and communities of color, who were already faced hunger at much higher rates before the pandemic”. 

The pandemic created new synergies with today’s drivers of mass migration, pushing unprecedented levels of both legal and unauthorized migrants worldwide (see Waters, this volume). In 2022, the most trafficked border in the world – between Mexico and the United States – has seen an extraordinary surge of unauthorized immigrants with an all-time record of more than 2.7 million from around the world, “many of them fleeing pandemic-ravaged countries … trying to enter the United States illegally in the last 12 months, capping a year of chaos at the southern border”.

According to the International Organization for Migration, the vulnerabilities of international migrants are “exacerbated … with the COVID-19 pandemic”. 

Mary Waters, the eminent sociologist of immigration at Harvard, notes,

Immigrant parents have been at much higher risk of contracting COVID and of experiencing severe disease and death. Most countries do not have COVID-specific disease and death rates by nativity status. But the few that do point to much higher rates of illness for immigrants. Testing data are available by immigration status in a few countries and in those countries, immigrants are vastly overrepresented among those testing positive relative to their representation in the population. In the period from the beginning of the pandemic to May 2020, 32% of the people testing positive for the virus in Sweden were migrants; in Norway, 42% of those testing positive were immigrants. In the province of Ottawa in Canada, migrants composed 44% of those testing positive for COVID in the period of March 2020 to June 13, 2020. In Italy, immigrants were more likely than natives to be diagnosed late, hospitalized, and admitted to an ICU.3 Migrants from lower- and middle-income countries had worse outcomes when they did get sick in Sweden; “adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, migrant men from the Middle East and north Africa had a 3-times higher mortality from COVID-19 than people born in Sweden” (Waters, this volume).

Migrants have been affected by the pandemic in a variety of ways. Many have lost their employment in the destination country and have been unable to return to their home. Some “migrants ended up in an irregular status in destination countries after being unable to renew their residence and/or work permits. Others have been forced to stay in inadequate accommodation with limited COVID-19 safety measures in place. The families of migrants have also suffered through the loss of much needed remittances. Survey and interview respondents highlighted the plight, in particular, of migrant domestic workers who have been confined to private homes and exploited by abusive employers”.

During the pandemic, migrants became vulnerable to hate crimes and social exclusion. Indeed, COVID accelerated cascading anti-immigrant sentiment (see Waters, this volume). Asian immigrants became targets of xenophobic violence as the former President of the United States and others framed the COVID disaster with the vulgar term, “the China Flu”. According to FBI data, US hate crimes against Asian Americans “rose 76% in 2020 amid pandemic”. 

Educational Disruptions

The pandemic stunned education systems with geologic force. Stefania Giannini, UNESCO’s Assistant-Director General for Education, writes, “At the peak of the crisis, 90% of the world’s student population – over 1.5 billion learners – were locked out of schools. This is without historical parallel” (Giannini, this volume). UNICEF data suggest that for over half-a-billion children whose schools closed due to COVID-19, there was no such thing as remote learning opportunities. By the first quarter of 2021, a year into the pandemic, more than 160 million children “around the world [had] missed school for nearly a year due to COVID-19 restrictions”. Fourteen countries “have remained largely closed since March 2020 to February 2021”. Two-thirds of those countries are in Latin America and the Caribbean.

During the COVID pandemic, it is estimated that over 830 million students did “not have access to a computer at home”. As Stanford University scholar Bridgit Barron notes, “Although unequal access to information technologies had been documented well before the COVID-19 pandemic, dramatic school closures have brought a significant digital divide into sharp relief and exposed the ongoing cost of inequities, as teachers across the world scrambled to continue the education of millions of children” (Barron, 2022).

UN estimates that COVID-19 has wiped out twenty years of gains as “100 million more children fail basic reading skills because of COVID-19”. New data on the global distribution of basic skills (measured as mastering at least PISA Level 1) paint a dire picture: “two thirds of the world’s youth do not obtain basic skills; the share of children not reaching basic skills exceeds half in 101 countries and rises above 90 percent in 36 of these countries. In high-income countries, a quarter of children lacks the PISA Level 1 basic skills. Skill deficits reach 94 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa and 89 percent in South Asia but also hit 68 percent in Middle East and North Africa and 65 percent in Latin America. While skill gaps are most apparent for the third of global youth not attending secondary school, fully 62 percent of the world’s secondary-school students fail to reach basic skills. … Economists estimate the lost world economic output due to missing the goal of global universal basic skills at a present value of over $700 trillion over the remaining century” new paper.

A new study in Nature Human Behaviour examined:

5,997 peer-reviewed papers and preprint studies on the pandemic’s impacts on education. … Their analysis included 291 learning-deficit estimates, reported in 42 studies from 15 high- and middle-income countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa, the Netherlands, Germany and Colombia.
The researchers calculated that, on average, school-aged children across all grades lost 35% of a school year’s worth of learning during the pandemic, and that these learning gaps had not been recovered as of May 2022. The loss of skills was worse in maths than in reading – possibly because parents are less able to help their children with maths exercises, the researchers speculate. 

The impacts on education were not uniform. Fernando Reimers notes,

In high-income countries schools reopened earlier and students experienced relatively lower losses in education because the strategies of remote learning were more effective. In contrast, in lower income countries, which experienced longer school closures and where the strategies of remote education were least effective, interruption of schooling continued for extended periods for many students.[20]
Four UNESCO-UNICEF-World Bank-OECD cross-national surveys carried out between 2020 and 2022 revealed considerable differences in the country education responses by level of income of the country and by world region. In the first two years since the outbreak of the pandemic schools were closed, on average, 20 weeks, but school closures were much longer in South Asia (35 weeks) and Latin America (37 weeks).[21]

In addition to learning losses, school closures disrupted immunization and other health services that are often provided at school (Yousafzai, Ghazi, and Bloom, this volume) and prevented many children from accessing their only nutritious meal of the day. In the largest school districts in countries around the world, students from the most underserved communities have become the new desaparecidos: as their peers migrate to remote learning, thousands of students of color are nowhere to be seen.

COVID-19 laid bare for the world to see the deepening inequalities in opportunities to learn that flow from poverty, race, ethnicity, and immigration background. As education endeavors to move into a phase of recovery, children in poverty face significant losses, “[T]he costs stand to be tremendous in terms of learning losses, health and well-being and drop-out. Prioritizing education as a public good is crucial to avoid a generational catastrophe and drive a sustainable recovery. To be more resilient, equitable and inclusive, education systems must transform, leveraging technology to benefit all learners and building on the innovations and partnerships catalyzed throughout this crisis” (UNESCO, 2022).

According to the authors of the Nature Human Behaviour study, “The pandemic reinforced learning inequality at the global level… There was a lack of data from lower-income countries, but the study found that children from more disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds in high- and middle-income countries have experienced larger learning losses”. The authors predict that the pandemic’s effects on learning will be more severe for children in poorer regions. “Those students were suffering before the pandemic, they suffered more during the pandemic, and now, as we’re trying to get our way out of this, they’re going to receive less than others to recover”.

The COVID-19 pandemic renewed expectations that new technologies could be deployed to effectively continue the education of youth via remote teaching and learning. Children in areas with little infrastructure can learn to read and engage via new creative apps. As framed by UNICEF, “if leveraged in the right way and universally accessible, digital technology can be a game changer for children being left behind – whether because of poverty, race, ethnicity, gender, disability, displacement or geographic isolation – connecting them to a world of opportunity and providing them with the skills they need to succeed in a digital world”.[22] The first Education XPrize competition embodied one such endeavor.[23]

The pandemic saw schools turn to educational technologies in order to continue schooling millions of children. This rapid innovation has led to great enthusiasm about the potential for networked tools to provide more children with low-cost access to learning opportunities that might help minimize existing educational inequities. Ambitious initiatives to provide inexpensive computing power to those most in need have distributed networked laptops to children in remote villages and urban centers, in the hope that provision of access to content and modern tools would fuel learning. These experiments have yielded important insights (see Reimers, this volume).

The use of proven technologies to engage children unable to access traditional schooling should be redoubled. Endeavors to leverage technology “to benefit all learners and building on the innovations and partnerships catalyzed throughout this crisis” should be fully explored and carefully mined. While there is exemplary educational work conducted via new technologies during COVID,[24] the overall evidence is mixed. As the world turned to technological solutions, vulnerable youth in underserved communities were left behind.[25]

Technology’s Limits

For some learners, online education was inappropriate or irrelevant:

For the youngest children, online learning is not always the most appropriate method to compensate for loss of in-person learning. This, of course, had consequences for moving children off track in their development in those crucial early years – from 2 to 6 million in the low- and lower-middle income settings. Sixty percent of countries reported offering digital and broadcast remote learning options to pre-primary students, compared with more than 95% offering these options for primary and secondary students. In the pre-primary schooling context, in turn, fewer than one in five LMICs reported having more than 75% of pre-primary students engage in remote learning (see Barron 2022).[26]

For older learners, online education options presented an entirely different set of questions:

Although concerns about data privacy, access to inappropriate content, and increased potential for exploitation are raised, the [UNICEF] report also highlights the significant equity challenge reflected by growing evidence of differential use by children and youth with more and financial assets, digital skills, access to devices, or the quality and stability of their Internet connections that can help them use the technology in empowered ways. Over a third of youth worldwide do not have Internet access and most of these young people are in developing countries” (Barron, 2022).

Scholars of educational technologies suggest that schools vary widely in, seriatim, (a) how well they envision the purposes of using technology; (b) how they prepare their teachers; and (c) how they provide the infrastructure for sustaining working tools. Better practices correlate with affluence (Barron, 2022). “A great deal of technology use also takes place outside school. Families leverage their own background knowledge, traditional literacy skills, values, and connections to knowledgeable social networks as they incorporate technology into their family routines in ways that might support children’s learning and social development. Significant gaps in preparation to leverage technology to connect homes and schools, unequal access to the Internet and devices, and differential teacher and parent knowledge have limited our capacity to sustain learning in a time of crisis” (Ibid.

Other scholars have noted that new media are failing to connect with the very students they would benefit the most: those from underserved communities. A survey by the Inter-American Development Bank showed that in “the Latin American and Caribbean region, only about 45% of households have adequate access to the Internet and smartphone penetration is as low as 32%. Therefore, in the recovery, we must consider blended approaches – approaches that do not exacerbate existing inequities in society” (Yousafzai, Ghazi, and Bloom, this volume). And in Africa, the Tanzania experience indicates that, “while school buildings were closed, children in just 6 percent of households listened to radio lessons, 5 percent accessed TV lessons, and fewer than 1 percent participated in online learning” (see also Sithole, this volume).

Further research suggests that new technologies are creating concerns in several basic educational domains: (1) its long-term impacts on “deep reading”;[27] (2) socio-emotional learning;[28] (3) cyber bullying;[29] (4) that new media undermines empathy;[30] (5) greater access to inappropriate materials;[31] and (6) that it provides lethally effective tools for exploitation and trafficking of children and youth. The intentionally addictive qualities of many new media platforms open another area of concern.

In Stefania Giannini’s sobering assessment, technology can be “fool’s gold”:

[It] would be disingenuous to say that technology saved the day and holds a golden key to universalize access and bring home better report cards. We caution against the over-reliance on technology for learning and the uncritical acceptance that the digital transformation of education is desirable, inevitable and a pillar of educational resilience. Overwhelming evidence goes against the oft-heard mantra that technology will enable education to “leap-frog” to a better future. The “anywhere, anytime” learning sometimes associated with technology has actually proven elusive.
For nearly 500 million learners it was a solution that never started and for millions more, one that quickly broke down. Half the world’s population lack a functional Internet connection. Over 700 million people don’t have access to electricity. In many low-income countries, less than 10% of children and adolescents are connected, against 90% in high-income ones. The cost of devices – even the cheapest available smartphone – and mobile plans – is simply prohibitive for poor families” (Giannini, this volume).

“Building a new civilization of love and solidarity”:[32] Paths to Recovery & Re-Construction

The pandemic’s long-term impact on youth is yet to be known. We will not be able to fully discern the long-term sequalae of the pandemic for years to come (see Caffo, 2022). Children are highly adaptable even to the most adverse of circumstances. McCartney and Fenlason write, “As conditions improve and adaptive systems are restored or mobilized, most people improve to normative functioning, although there can be lifelong consequences of severe and prolonged trauma and related deprivation, illnesses, or injuries”. Qua COVID, the U.S. Surgeon General notes:

According to more than 50 years of research, increases in distress symptoms are common during disasters, but most people cope well and do not go on to develop mental health disorders. Several measures of distress that increased early in the pandemic appear to have returned to pre-pandemic levels by mid-2020. Some other measures of wellbeing, such as rates of life satisfaction and loneliness, remained largely unchanged throughout the first year of the pandemic. … Many young people are able to bounce back from difficult experiences such as stress, adversity, and trauma.

Children and youth are inherently resilient. The sources of their resilience are not always obvious. A 2010 task force report on child refugees in the United States by the American Psychological Association found that despite enduring trauma and adversity, “these children and their families also demonstrate profound strength and resilience in their survival strategies, coping mechanisms and abilities to adapt within what are often completely unfamiliar environments”.

A six-year Harvard study of 529 war-affected youth in Sierra Leone found remarkable improvement in mental health symptoms “over time despite nearly nonexistent access to mental health care”. The answer does not lie in individual characteristics. There is no special category of children with extraordinary capacities for self-healing. Instead, as the authors of another Harvard study put it, resilience “must be viewed as a dynamic process, rather than a personal trait”.

Research, our own and that of others, suggests that the process plays out in a physical and social environment that involves family and caretakers most immediately, but also includes peers, schools, faith communities, and larger communities (see also McCartney and Fenlason, this volume). Just as the pandemic, war, and flight imply a disruption, even a destruction of all the elements of “home” (Dryden-Peterson, this volume), healing comes about with the rebuilding of a child’s social world. Fortunately, we know how to do that. And primarily, we do it through the institutions of society. As Stefania Giannini argues in her Chapter,

As the pandemic has demonstrated everywhere, schools are far more than a locus for learning. They are spaces for growing together, social interaction, protection, nutrition and essential services. … The first step of an inclusive recovery is to get all kids back to school and learning, in safe environments.
A successful recovery has to go beyond the academic, especially for the most vulnerable children, acting on all the barriers that keep them out of school or not learning. Comprehensive school health and nutrition programmes, including school feeding, are essential to support vulnerable children’s education, health and overall well-being, particularly in times of crisis.;
This is why UNESCO is working with UN partners, such as UNICEF, the World Food Programme and WHO to step up school health and nutrition, and has also joined the School Meals Coalition, to give every child in need the opportunity to receive a healthy meal in school by 2030, together with other essential school health interventions.
Second, teachers and the teaching profession. Teachers carry tremendous responsibility – they are the center stage actors of this recovery just as they have been on the frontlines throughout the crisis. They have demonstrated incredible resilience and dedication. Now they must be better recognized and supported, and directly involved in the design and use of technology in their practice.
This brings me to how we steer the digital transformation for inclusion and equity. Education and knowledge cannot be treated as private commodities. They are global common goods that provide collective benefits. Supported by Dubai Cares, we gathered experts and led consultations to chart a new course for connected learning. The result is the Global Declaration on Connectivity for education that puts forward three key principles: centering innovation on the most marginalized; expanding investing in open, free and high-quality digital contents; and supporting pedagogical innovation. This provides a roadmap for unlocking the potential of technology to advance inclusive education, on the principles of human rights and equity (Giannini, this volume).

McCartney and Fenlason suggest focusing on prevention,

From the extant literature on mental health, we know that prevention is critical. Educating the public on wellness strategies is a good first step, for example the importance of investing in healthy relationships, practicing techniques to manage stress, taking care of our bodies, and being intentional about social media and video games (U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory 2021). Some studies have identified specific behaviors that decrease stress, for example keeping a journal, physical activity and exercise, and positive reappraisal and reframing of one’s circumstances; regarding the latter, some adolescents saw the lockdown as an opportunity to decelerate their lives (Shanahan et al. 2022). Parents, physicians and teachers have critical roles to play as well – parent education will promote warm, trusting relationships with children and adolescents; physician education will promote mental health screening during visits with patients; and teacher education will promote individualized instruction in a caring, supportive environment (this volume).

Plan of the Book

Our focus spans from the time COVID-19 gained global momentum in early 2020 to the emergence of the highly virulent omicron variant to the availability of vaccines and boosters in 2022. This project is exploratory, selective, and opportunistic. It is a first pass at what will become a major area of basic and applied research and translational work in the years ahead. It is the antonym of exhaustive. Indeed, our point of departure is that COVID-19’s impact mimics the virus itself – it is changing and evolving. It’s full impact on children and youth will not be fully understood for decades. Rather, the work strategically mines the thinking of leaders in their fields as they begin to identify important COVID-19 problems in their own scholarly domains – indeed our scholars originate from and have had significant research experience in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe.

In Chapter 1, Yousafzai, Ghazi, and Bloom examine data on early childcare and education (ECCE). Less attention has been “devoted to the wellbeing of those in utero and the more than 800 million children aged 5 years and younger who collectively represent roughly 10% of the total world population”. Yet these formative early child care and education experiences are foundational in supporting all further development. They review the most rigorous and compelling research findings to date. In a sobering assessment, the Harvard scholars write, “today’s young children and their families, communities, and societies will experience what is effectively a social form of long COVID” over the decades to come:

COVID-19 has affected the health, routines, and capacity of caregivers to provide optimal positive nurturing and responsive care. Adults suffered through lengthy periods of job, income, food, housing, and familial insecurity. Grandparents have been socially isolated and physically, economically, and psychologically burdened. Given the dependence of the very young on their parents, grandparents, caretakers, and communities, a full study of the health, social, and economic impact of COVID-19 on early childhood development must give equal consideration to the impact on caregivers and on the environments children grow up in as well (Yousafzai, Ghazi, and Bloom, this volume).

Moving forward, the Harvard researchers suggest prioritizing,

[T]he immediate fulfillment of essential functions, including the consistent operation of education and health systems and related social safety net programs, especially ones that focus on nutrition and food security … The second highest priority, over the longer term, would be to build a programmatic initiative around the compelling and rigorous research showcasing the importance of early childhood development to the entire life cycle with respect to:
                     ability to get along with others; economic wellbeing; and the level and shape of one’s potential lifelong trajectory for cognitive function and for physical, mental, and emotional health.
Programmatic initiatives here include the design and implementation of programs for (a) rapidly assessing the physical, cognitive, and emotional health of young children, especially those at greatest risk, and (b) addressing deficits through proven interventions such as
                    caregiver guidance, support, and access to resources to invest in their young children, food supplementation, access to quality healthcare, access to preschool programs aimed at social development, finance monitoring for early childhood development and progress tracking, the constructive engagement of community members in monitoring and supporting early child development, policies that support caregivers with young children (e.g., paid parental leave, subsidized high-quality childcare services).
The third highest priority, also over the longer term, would be to prioritize support for the primary healthcare components of the overall health system. Primary healthcare is a health system best buy. And that is in no small measure because of its central role in the implementation of immunization programs. While we certainly refer here to COVID-19 immunizations, we are also thinking of routine immunizations for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, polio, rotavirus, pneumococcal disease, human papilloma virus, and hepatitis. We are also thinking of catch-up protocols for those who missed immunizations in the past few years. In support of immunization programs, we urge nations to remember the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, along with the related public health finding that immunizations are among the most cost-effective health interventions available to mankind.

In Chapter 2, the Argentine cognitive neuroscientist Sebastián Lipina surveys the emerging literature on COVID’s impacts on psychosocial development in children and adolescents in Latin America. He examines, in broad terms, an array of social impacts in the region. The data present an alarming picture revealing, seriatim, (a) loss of income [and] increased debt (e.g., 68% of households in Colombia); (b) increased job insecurity and instability (e.g., Costa Rica, El Salvador and Peru: between 60% and 70% job loss); (c) food insecurity and reduction of food intake (e.g., Argentina 39%, Colombia 30%, Peru 60%, Dominican Republic 37%); (d) increased levels of family violence, specifically, gender violence (e.g., Argentina 59%); (e) [increased] domestic burden on women (e.g., Argentina 44%); (f) increased “expression of anger and fights inside homes (e.g., Argentina 15%; Chile 59%; Colombia 20%); (g) decreases in time and spaces for free play (e.g., Chile 28%); and (h) increased screen time (e.g., Chile 68%) (Lipina, this volume).

Lipina details the emotional, cognitive, and psychosocial correlates to these COVID-19 shocks, including: mourning for the death of a family member (e.g., Chile 15%): “From March 2020 to April 2021 10.2, 3.5, 2.4, 2.3, and 1.1 per thousand in Peru, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and Argentina, experienced the death of at least one primary or secondary caregiver, respectively”. He details “low levels of emotional control among in adults, elevated fears of contagion and death, increased signs of anxiety and depression in caregivers in a range of 15% to 85% (e.g., Dominican Republic 15%; Peru 40%; Costa Rica, El Salvador 85%)” … as well as new challenges in “self-regulation, emotional development, organization of time and routines (e.g., Chile), learning (e.g., Peru: 72% of families with a child with a disability), and behavioral problems (e.g., Peru: 37% in single-parent households)” (Lipina, this volume).

In their contribution, developmental psychologist Kathleen McCartney and her colleague Laurie Fenlason focus on COVID’s impact on late adolescence. Scholarly work on human development has identified a variety of psychosocial domains pertinent to this critical phase of development. Why does adolescence matter to an understanding of COVID’s impacts? The authors articulate a series of claims specific to the changes that unfold during that period of maturational and psychosocial development. First, they note, neuroplasticity during adolescence makes youth “more easily excited, emotionally aroused, and prone to getting angry or upset” (McCartney and Fenlason, this volume). Second, they note that pandemic has likely delayed “normal psychosocial development because the evolutionary tasks that all adolescents face – identity development, autonomy and the reorganization of relationships with parents and peers – were disrupted by school closures and concomitant social isolation” (Ibid). Third, “adolescence has been called ‘a sensitive period for the emergence of mental health disorders’, based on prevalence rates by age (Liu et al. 2022)”. Fourth, “existential threats, like COVID-19, are deeply experienced by adolescents because their self-regulation skills are still developing, compared with adults, thereby limiting their ability to cope in the face of significant stressors. For all these reasons, it follows that the impact of COVID-19 on psychosocial development might be especially acute during this stage of life” (McCartney and Fenlason, this volume). They find a global increase in adolescent anxiety and depression. They review several research studies from East Asia, Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East suggesting:

[E]stimates of mental health problems are double those of comparable estimates prior to the pandemic. Further, older adolescents had higher levels of depression, which is consistent with the hypothesis that the risk of mental illness is higher during late adolescence than during other times of life. Consistent with other studies, rates of depression and anxiety were higher in girls, perhaps because girls are more likely to report mental health problems or, as the authors suggest, because gender inequity increases stress. Taken together, these public health studies document a worldwide mental health problem among adolescents and emerging adults that necessitates better policies and practices, grounded in evidence (McCartney and Fenlason, this volume).

McCartney and Fenlason carefully examine the pertinent scientific literature on family, peer, school, and community level factors mitigating as well as aggravating the impacts of COVID-19 during adolescence. They sum up their findings as follows:

In this review, we have identified processes associated with these structural changes [remote work and school closures] that influenced adolescent psychosocial development:
In the family context, indicators of experience like parent-adolescent conflict and restriction of adolescent autonomy were shown to be risk factors for psychosocial development while other indicators like parental warmth were shown to be protective.
In the peer context, the pandemic necessitated a decrease in peer interaction, which was associated with decreased social support and increased stress, as well as with decreased victimization and bullying. Like parents, peers offered both risks and protections for adolescents.
In the school context, school closures led to disengagement from school, learning loss, decrease in services associated with school and, as a result, increased stress for students across the world.
In the community context, we assume that customs and values matter, and we know that there are great differences in adolescent experience within cultures and countries. Still, there is very little research to date. A new line of research suggests that adolescent interventions that promote solidarity, or concern for community, may help address the impact of a community crisis like COVID-19…
The pandemic has revealed, once again, the unequal social systems, discrimination, marginalization and violence that are endemic in our globalized contemporary world (Velez, Taylor, and Power 2022). The need to recommit to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – especially the goal of good health and well-being – has never been more clear. Children and adolescents deserve nothing less than universal access to prevention and intervention services, that is effective mental health care and wellness programs (McCartney and Fenlason, this volume).

Hans Zollner, SJ, of the Institute of Anthropology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome claims the COVID-19 pandemic is

[P]robably the most comprehensive and complex challenge to human dignity and care, especially for vulnerable persons, that the world’s population has faced since the end of World War II. The impact on people in all, or almost all, countries of the world has been and continues to be manifold, persistent, and drastic. What is remarkable about this pandemic is that the entire population has been and continues to be affected, albeit to unequal degrees and in varying quality: young and old, rich and poor, urban and rural, all occupations, and people of every walk of life (Zollner, this volume).

Zollner reviews the relevant literature on COVID qua (a) the abuse and maltreatment of children and adolescents; (b) school closure and its consequences; and (c) the opportunities and threats of digital communication technologies. He then turns to an analysis of the impacts of the pandemic on child and adolescent psychological development and well-being with a sharp focus on spirituality.

Stefania Giannini’s reviews COVID’s impact on youth from her perspective as UNESCO’s Assistant-Director General for Education. She outlines in significant detail the major domains of global concern qua teaching and learning in and after COVID. She articulates a plea to disrupt the catastrophic impacts of the pandemic on youth development, flourishing, and engagement focusing on the historic United Nations Transforming Education Summit in September 2022. At the Summit, 65 Heads of State issued a call to action as we move from recovery to transformation of education:

The Secretary-General’s vision statement on Transforming Education[33] to meet our higher purposes calls for action in four areas.
First, it stresses the need to ensure learning environments that support the development of all learners – ones that promote inclusion, prevent and address all forms of violence; support learner’s nutrition, physical and mental health.
Secondly, it stresses that teachers are the backbone of all good education systems. To fulfill their essential roles, however, change is needed in how societies view and value teachers, and how teachers approach their roles and fulfill their responsibilities, including through broadening their capacity, agency and autonomy.
Thirdly, the statement calls for harnessing the digital revolution for the benefit of public education by unlocking the three keys of digital learning – connectivity, capacities and content.
Finally, it appeals for investing more, more equitably and more efficiently in education because put simply, the cost of not financing education is much higher than the cost of financing it.
Such transformation requires collective leadership – from political leaders to parents, students, teachers and the public at large (Giannini, this volume).

Fernando Reimers, the renowned Harvard international education scholar, offers an important corrective view on the general framing of the pandemic’s effects on education. While acknowledging that “the pandemic produced the worst educational calamity in the history of public education” (Reimers, this volume), the narrative on education loss and governmental failures is incomplete and possibly harmful:

The dominant narrative of the educational results of the pandemic focuses on what was lost, and on what governments failed to do and should do going forward. This narrative is not inaccurate, but it is incomplete in two ways. First, it ignores the many flaws of education systems prior to the pandemic. Second, it reflects and reinforces a top-down view of the process of educational change resulting from the agency of governments. This narrative blinds us to the collective efforts that involve other actors besides governments, local actors and translational actors, public actors, and civil society and to the necessity of not just restoring the levels of functioning of education systems to their pre-pandemic levels but to transform them. This narrative is counterproductive because it limits our thinking about how to address the obvious educational losses created by the pandemic. A more capacious narrative can help us see possibilities in the agency of other actors and can animate the collective leadership necessary for the bold transformations in education which is needed to build a more just and sustainable world (Reimers, this volume).

Dr. Reimers addresses the agency, savoir-faire, and on-the-ground innovations among teachers, members of civil society, government agencies, and international organizations. He highlights collaborations involving educators, communities, civil society organizations, governments, and international organizations “to sustain educational opportunity, and the efforts they continue to exert to recover opportunity in the face of the grave challenges created by the pandemic” (Reimers, this volume). Indeed, these initiatives, some under Dr. Reimers leadership, saw new approaches, agency, and collaboration across sectors to introduce innovative education interventions as the pandemic raged on.

Professor Mpilo Pearl Sithole, distinguished anthropologist at the University of the Free State South Africa, examines the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on African families, with a focus on youth. She notes:

The shape of the pandemic was unknown. … Parents were guiding children on a situation that they themselves had no experience. On the other hand, children saw the anxiety of parents losing jobs, the pressure on breadwinners where loss of jobs was a reality. For some families, who had depended on daily hustling in the informal sector (ukuphanta), loss of economic sustenance was instant and had an impact on young people (Sithole, this volume).

With a keen ethnographic eye, she examines COVID’s malignant shocks to families and youth qua, (a) food insecurity; (b) gender-based-violence; (c) accumulated life traumas; (d) rural urban labor migration; and what Dr. Sithole terms “medicalized cognitive arrogance”.

The sum-total implication of all that is described above, which itself is not exhaustive, is that: a) the African family was reduced into an operated-on unit, that contributed very little to the approach to COVID-19 and could not even have a voice to be considered; b) This situation was reflected in the institutional reduction of people into statistics for regulations and management, as well as the subsequent ‘bullying approach’ to vaccination; c) Global empathy played straight into the hands of science capitalism in that it was silent about lack of indigenous expressions to management of Covid, it marketed vaccines, and inadvertently silenced local voice in the bid to lobby for vaccine equity. All of it became a classic case of “alienated consciousness” to use a phrase that aptly captures the emergence of the Black Consciousness Movement [see More 2014] (Sithole, this volume).

Mary Waters, the Harvard sociologist, examines the pandemic’s impact on the children of immigrants – the fastest growing youth demographic in many high-income countries. She outlines the factors that put immigrant families at high risk during the pandemic:

Immigrants are concentrated in occupations and housing configurations that put them at greater risk of the disease and prevent them from working from home or otherwise avoiding infection. Immigrant families are more likely to be poor than natives and unauthorized status keeps many immigrant families from qualifying for or accessing government aid and health care. Immigrants are also often isolated from extended family and community support and this is exacerbated by language isolation. The children of immigrants are more likely than the children of native parents to suffer from schooling interruptions, partly because they have already experienced great disruption in schooling through the migration process, because they are already behind many of their peers because of the challenges of learning a new language and a new curriculum, and because school is not only a place for learning but an opportunity for immigrant children to integrate and create connections to other children and adults that eases their successful adaptation to a new society. Finally, throughout history, immigrants and minorities have been blamed for diseases. The fear of infection leads many to blame the stranger, leading to a rise in xenophobia and hate crimes, often intensified by politicians wishing to exploit fears and prejudices for political gains (Waters, this volume).

Immigrant parents faced greater risk of contracting COVID and experiencing severe disease and death.[34] Data suggest immigrants died of COVID at much higher rates that other populations. In countries with reliable data, “In the period from the beginning of the pandemic to May 2020, 32% of the people testing positive for the virus in Sweden were migrants; in Norway, 42% of those testing positive were immigrants. In the province of Ottawa in Canada, migrants composed 44% of those testing positive for COVID in the period of March 2020 to June 13, 2020. In Italy, immigrants were more likely than natives to be diagnosed late, hospitalized, and admitted to an ICU. Migrants from lower- and middle-income countries had worse outcomes when they did get sick in Sweden; ‘adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, migrant men from the Middle East and north Africa had a 3-times higher mortality from COVID-19 than people born in Sweden’” (Waters, this volume). In U.S. states where data are available on native status, immigrants, “had twice the mortality rate for COVID than natives. Foreign born Latinos were particularly hard hit and young working age men had the highest rates of mortality” (Waters, this volume).

Yet, as Waters wisely notes, immigrants display enormous strength and resilience:

Immigrant children and families bring great resilience and strength to receiving nations. They have experience coping with uncertainty, they are able to adapt to new situations and constraints. Immigrants have helped one another and through their essential work they kept our societies and economies functioning through the worst of the pandemic. Immigrant children should not have to face the illness and loss of caregivers, the loss of learning in school, the poverty and hunger that resulted because they were excluded from government aid, and the continuing discrimination and racism that has been targeted at their communities. Unfortunately, the past two years has brought many of these challenges and difficulties to their young lives. The least we can all do is try to heal the harm that has been done and create more opportunities for these young people to flourish and reach their potential (Waters, this volume).

Despite repeated prior endeavors for pandemic preparedness, (Stone and Stone, this volume) “not knowing” – how to prepare, how to plan, how to manage, defined COVID’s entry onto the world stage. COVID-19 ushered in a global era of deep uncertainty. Sarah Dryden-Peterson offers a series of lessons from refugee education in times of uncertainty, including current and future pandemics.

For many young people, especially those who experience marginalization and including refugees, uncertainty in education is not new. Yet the Covid-19 pandemic has made more visible for more people how uncertainty shapes education (Vavrus 2021). Importantly, rather than conceiving of uncertainty as only a negative state to circumvent, educators, students, and families have been forced to reckon with the idea that uncertainty is increasingly unavoidable and that we must find ways to learn from and within it. Expanding on conceptualizations of the resonance of lessons from refugee education from early in the Covid-19 pandemic (Dryden-Peterson 2021a, 2021b) and drawing on newer empirical findings (Salem and Dryden-Peterson 2022; Dryden-Peterson et al. Under Review; Dryden-Peterson 2022), I outline three elements of “pedagogies of belonging”: pedagogies of predictability, adaptability, and future-building.
Pedagogies are practices of teaching. They embody envisioned purposes of education and the theories and values behind these purposes (Alexander 2001; Schweisfurth, Thomas, and Smail 2020). Belonging is integrally tied to ideas of “home”, including stability and feelings of being oneself, not only in private spaces but also public ones (e.g., Antonsich 2010; Yuval-Davis 2006; Hovil 2016; Bloemraad 2018), including schools. In our research with refugees, we find that belonging is also integrally tied to being able to link together one’s past, one’s present, and one’s future and to capacities to contribute as an individual and as a member of a collective (Chopra and Dryden-Peterson 2020; Dryden-Peterson 2022).
This essay explores, in turn, pedagogies of predictability, adaptability, and future-building, all dependent on relationships and oriented toward belonging. Our research finds that refugee young people describe these pedagogies as important to them as they seek to learn in the present and build their futures. These lessons from refugee education are relevant for the continued educational, economic, and political uncertainty so many students face in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and for anticipated future uncertainties related to pandemics, conflict, and climate change.

In their contribution, Resilience in an Age of Pandemics, Cathleen D. Stone and James M. Stone, reflect on resilience in the age of pandemics. They frame resilience as the capacity to recover quickly from challenges. “But the importance of resilience has been placed in stark relief by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic showcased how events that occur in one area of the world can have profound reverberations across the planet. And it illustrated that we are not well prepared for the challenges that lie ahead” (Stone and Stone, this volume). They focus their work on two of the most serious threats to preparedness moving forward, seriatim, unchecked climate change and the accelerating trend toward wealth inequality (Ibid.). Indeed, wealth inequality threatens the very foundations of democratic citizenship.

Qua climate change, they argue,

Scientists have suggested that there is an undeniable link between climate change and an increase in potentially lethal viruses that jump from animals to humans.[35] The reasons for this are simple to understand, but have yet to be widely appreciated by the general public. First, the warming of our planet due to human activity, and the destruction of habitat, also due to human activity, bring more animals into contact with one another and with humans.[36] More contact means more chances for viruses to jump from one species to another. Second, vector-borne diseases carried by insects proliferate as the climate warms and more regions of the world become hospitable to these hosts.[37] The more places mosquitoes can thrive, the more are the opportunities for pathogens to spread from one host to another. Third, the reduction of biodiversity, by which I mean fewer species thriving on earth, can inhibit the resilience of the remaining species to fight against viral threats (Stone and Stone, this volume).

Stone and Stone then articulate a series of proposals in the spirit of authentic resilience:

Resilience means planning to live with higher seas and more frequent storms. It also means creating stability in the economic lives of people so they can weather life’s inevitable challenges. Actions we take today can, and will, affect the impact the warming climate will have on the earth and all those who inhabit it. The extreme connectedness of our world means that changing weather patterns, storms, fires, floods, and other environmental disasters that occur on one continent can easily cause food shortages, disease, and despair in communities thousands of miles away. It means that when homes and entire communities are washed away by the rising seas, the impacts are felt around the globe. We must act now to build more resilient communities. But this effort will require collaboration the likes of which we have probably never seen. It will require collaboration across sectors and across national boundaries. The world’s governments, academics, non-profits, and communities must come together in unprecedented ways.
One effort currently underway in Boston is the Stone Living Lab. It is a partnership based at UMass Boston that unites the City of Boston, the State of Massachusetts, the Federal government of the United States, academics from multiple universities, indigenous tribes, and a local non-profit, Boston Harbor Now, to make vulnerable coastal regions adaptive to climate change while enhancing natural and built environments. The underlying goal is to identify new ways to build more resilient communities while recognizing that the only viable way forward is for humans to live in harmony with nature, rather than at odds with it. The Lab brings together scientists, policy makers, government officials, educators, and community leaders on an even playing field to address complex questions such as: how can we protect the coastline while also protecting fragile ecosystems that are critical to a healthy planet; and how can we ensure the solutions we develop also help alleviate undue climate burdens that so often fall on the most marginalized in society?
As a “Living Lab” we bring these questions out of the siloed halls of academia and corporate R&D and into the real world by creating a user-centered, open, innovative ecosystem that engages scientists and the community in collaborative design and exploration. Climate change is upon us. But what we do today can make a difference to the world we pass onto the next generation. The Stone Foundation is committed to establishing more Living Labs focused on building resilience across neighborhoods, towns, cities and ecosystems. In addition to bolstering the resilience of our coastlines, we see the protection of large landscapes as a key part of ensuring that today’s youth inherit a more resilient and ecologically stable world. Stone Living Labs will bring together diverse stakeholders to address the economic, social, political and environmental challenges that prevent us from conserving the habitats we know are crucial to the viability of our planet (Stone and Stone, this volume).

In a set of final reflections, Georgetown President John J. DeGioia reflects on “The University in the Age of COVID” and elaborates on the purpose of the University in times of wicked problems – pandemics, unchecked climate check, growing inequalities, inter alia. Three elements constitute the university:

First, is formation, we provide a context for the formation of young people. That is, along with the knowledge that becomes transmitted through students’ coursework and faculty engagement, we value the importance that all students explore and develop the intellectual, moral, social, spiritual, and civic dimensions of their selves.
Second, is inquiry. We support the scholarship and research of our faculty. In essence, we are contributing to the discovery and construction of knowledge as well as establishing a home for epistemic communities that establish the conditions for truth.
Third, is the emphasis on common good, as universities we contribute to common good of the communities in which we participate. There is a good we can achieve together that we could never hope to achieve alone (this volume).

Universities privilege knowledge. “Colleges and universities are dedicated to the acquisition and dissemination, the discovery and construction, the interpretation and conservation of knowledge. Together, these knowledge-developing activities determine the orientation of the university” (DeGioia, this volume). But in times of wicked global problems, he calls for the kind of knowledge St. Ignatius called sentir.[38] “Knowledge that we just know, in the deepest parts of our beings, is true. We have both our intellect and we have this practice – of discerning the affect that we have in each of our interiorities. Ignatius asks us to privilege the significance of our ‘inner lives’” (this volume).

The COVID-19 pandemic intensified gross pre-existing inequalities. Not surprisingly, the poor, the marginalized, immigrants, people of color, and native communities, paid dearly in nearly every negative COVID-19 shock on humanity. In his intervention, Bishop William J. Barber, II, Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, articulates a plea for a moral economy in the age of COVID:

The Holy Father embraced St Francis’ vocation when he chose his pontifical name, and he has endorsed the work of the Holy Spirit in today’s poor people’s movements in his encyclical, Fratelli Tutti. So I have come to share what we have learned and are learning in our campaign as a way of contributing to this on-going work of proclaiming God’s good news that the poor and rejected of society are blessed to lead us in the revolution of values that the world so desperately needs (Bishop William J. Barber, II, this volume).

He makes the case for 14 Steps Forward Together to a Third Reconstruction,

  1. Engage in indigenously-led grassroots organizing across the state.
  2. Use moral language to frame and critique public policy, regardless of who is in power.
  3. Demonstrate a commitment to civil disobedience that follows the steps of nonviolent action and is designed to change the public conversation and consciousness.
  4. Build a stage from which to lift the voices of everyday poor and low-wealth people impacted by immoral policies.
  5. Recognize the centrality of race and racism worldwide. We must challenge the continuing harm in thinking and policy whose roots trace to sinful notions of manifest destiny, the Doctrine of Discovery, and race-based chattel slavery.
  6. Build a broad, diverse coalition including moral and religious leaders of all faiths.
  7. Intentionally diversify the movement with the goal of winning unlikely allies.
  8. Build transformative, long-term coalition relationships rooted in a clear agenda that doesn’t measure success only by electoral outcomes.
  9. Make a serious commitment to academic and empirical analysis of policy. Have a core of scholar activists who constantly footnote and make the case for the demands and critique of the movement. We must actually write the policies that will need to change – not just say that they need to be written. Our campaign has presented a Moral Budget[39] to the US Congress and pushed a House Resolution for a Third Reconstruction[40] to end poverty and low-wealth from the bottom up.
  10. To shift the narrative and to build concern and power, coordinate use of all forms of social media: video, text, Twitter, Facebook, and so forth.
  11. Engage in voter registration and education.
  12. Pursue a strong legal strategy. Whenever there are legal forums to challenge systems of oppression and death dealing with poverty-making policies use those forums.
  13. Engage the music, hymns, poetry and cultural arts in service of the movement.
  14. Resist the “one moment” mentality; we are building a movement!

The church must have a prophetic moral outcry and must help foster another way of seeing the world. A movement with poor and low-wealth people, moral religious servant leaders, and academic social advocates must push a penetrating moral imagination. One of the first works of a prophetic movement is to cause a change in moral imagination. We have learned from our reading of sacred texts, our study of history and our engagement in struggles for justice that moral leaders have a unique ability to proclaim truth in the face of deceit. We must break the spell that oppression seeks to have over humanity and its belief about what is possible (Bishop William J. Barber, II, this volume).

The Workshop and this volume are – to the best of my knowledge – among the first international, interdisciplinary, and comparative efforts to examine the effects of COVID-19 on children, youth and emerging adults, draw lessons learned from best practices and make concrete suggestions to prepare for catastrophic disasters moving forward. The preponderance of evidence suggests the global response to COVID-19 has been rachitic at best, catastrophic at worse. In the harsh words of the WHO, the response has been a “catastrophic failure of the international community in showing solidarity and equity”. The world needs to do much better to prepare for the inevitable next pandemic (Stone and Stone, this volume). In what follows, we examine levers to make the family, schools and societal institutions tasked with promoting the healthy development of children more humane and equitable, more engaging and fulfilling, and more relevant to the disparate needs of children and youth around the world in an era of global pandemics, deep inequalities, obscene poverty, and unchecked climate change. We close with the eternal words of Pope Francis on our duty to serve the least among us:

The first of these voices is that of the poor. In the world, there are too many women and men who suffer from severe malnutrition, growing unemployment, the rising numbers of unemployed youth, and from increasing social exclusion. … We cannot remain indifferent before the cries of our brothers and sisters. These ask of us not only material assistance – needed in so many circumstances – but above all, our help to defend their dignity as human persons, so that they can find the spiritual energy to become once again protagonists in their own lives. They ask us to fight, in the light of the Gospel, the structural causes of poverty: inequality, the shortage of dignified work and housing, and the denial of their rights as members of society and as workers. As Christians we are called together to eliminate that globalization of indifference which today seems to reign supreme, while building a new civilization of love and solidarity” (Pope Francis, Address at Patriarchal Church of St. George, Istanbul, November 30, 2014).


[1] See, Manivannan, Madhumitha, P. Jogalekar Manasi, Subash Kavitha Muthu, Venmathi Maran Balu Alagar, and Prakash Gangadaran. “A Mini-Review on the Effects of COVID-19 on Younger Individuals”, Exp Biol Med (Maywood) 246, 246, no. 3 (2021): 293-97. See also Ashish Jha 2022.

[2] More recent estimates put excess Covid deaths at 20 million.

[3] See also

[4] The JAMA September 2022 estimates reveal the rapid increase in orphanhood and caregiver death – doubling every six months. A July 2021 Lancet study had estimated that some 5.2 million children had lost a parent or caregiver to COVID- 19, See Unwin HJ, Hillis S, Cluver L, Flaxman S, Goldman P, Butchart A, Bachman G, Rawlings L, Donnelly C, Ratmann O, Green P, Nelson C, Blenkinsop A, Bhatt S, Desmond C, Villaveces A, Sherr Let al., 2022, More than 5.2 million children affected by global surges in COVID-associated orphanhood and caregiver death: new evidence for national responses, The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, ISSN: 2352-4642 (see also

[5] Loss by Geography, Race, and Ethnicity revealed, “The District of Columbia had the widest disparities in caregiver loss, where Black and Hispanic children’s rates of caregiver loss were 11 and 18 times the rates of loss for White children, respectively. The rates of caregiver loss for American Indian and Alaska Native children were more than 10 times those of White children in Mississippi, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah. See

[6] DeGioia, identifies wicked problems as: “1. There is no definitive formulation of a wicked problem. 2. Wicked problems have no stopping rule. 3. Solutions to wicked problems are not true-or-false, but better or worse. 4. There is no immediate and no ultimate test of a solution to a wicked problem. 5. Every solution to a wicked problem is a “one-shot operation”; because there is no opportunity to learn by trial and error, every attempt counts significantly. 6. Wicked problems do not have an enumerable (or an exhaustively describable) set of potential solutions, nor is there a well-described set of permissible operations that may be incorporated into the plan. 7. Every wicked problem is essentially unique. 8. Every wicked problem can be considered to be a symptom of another problem. 9. The existence of a discrepancy representing a wicked problem can be explained in numerous ways. The choice of explanation determines the nature of the problem’s resolution. 10. The social planner has no right to be wrong. (i.e., planners are liable for the consequences of the actions they generate) (DeGioia, this volume).

[7] Mireia Orgilés, Alexandra Morales, Elisa Delvecchio, Claudia Mazzeschi and José P. Espada, “Immediate psychological effects of the COVID-19 quarantine in youth from Italy and Spain” (18 April 2020).

[8] For a conceptual framing of the developmental implications of COVID-related mental health effects on youth and young adults, see Caffo, 2022; McCartney and Fenlason, this volume.

[9] See Newlove-Delgado, T., McManus, S., Sadler, K., Thandi, S., Vizard, T., Cartwright, C., & Ford, T. (2021). Child mental health in England before and during the COVID-19 lockdown. The Lancet Psychiatry, 8(5), 353-354).

[10] Mactavish, A., Mastronardi, C., Menna, R., Babb, K.A., Battaglia, M., Amstadter, A.B., & Rappaport, L.M. (2021). Children’s Mental Health in Southwestern Ontario during Summer 2020 of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry = Journal de l’Academie canadienne de psychiatrie de l’enfant et de l’adolescent, 30(3), 177-190). See also, Courtney, D., Watson, P., Battaglia, M., Mulsant, B.H., & Szatmari, P. (2020). COVID-19 impacts on child and youth anxiety and depression: challenges and opportunities. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 65(10), 688-691. See also, Panchal, U., Salazar de Pablo, G., Franco, M. et al. The impact of COVID-19 lockdown on child and adolescent mental health: systematic review. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry (2021). Singh, S., Roy, D., Sinha, K., Parveen, S., Sharma, G., & Joshi, G. (2020). Impact of COVID-19 and lockdown on mental health of children and adolescents: A narrative review with recommendations. Psychiatry Research, 293.

[11] They included self-rating questionnaires; a Chinese version of Spence Child Anxiety Scale (a 44- item self-report Likert’s scale); a Child Depression Inventory (a 27-item self-report measure on severity of depressive symptoms); the Short Version of Smartphone Addiction Scale and other measures.

[12] See Duan, L., Shao, X., Wang, Y., Huang, Y., Miao, J., Yang, X., & Zhu, G., 2020. An investigation of mental health status of children and adolescents in China during the outbreak of COVID-19.Journal of Affective Disorders, 275, 112-118. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2020.06.029

[13] See, Li, W., Wang, Z., Wang, G., Ip, P., Sun, X., Jiang, Y., & Jiang, F. (2021). Socioeconomic inequality in child mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic: First evidence from China. Journal of Affective Disorders, 287, 8-14. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2021.03.009

[14] See, Marques de Miranda, D., da Silva Athanasio, B., Sena Oliveira, A.C., & Simoes-e-Silva, A.C. (2020). How is COVID-19 pandemic impacting mental health of children and adolescents? International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 51, 101845. doi:10.1016/j.ijdrr.2020.101845

[15] See Lipina, this volume; Beliz, 2022.

[16] See Sethi 2022.

[17] See, de Figueiredo, C.S., Sandre, P.C., Portugal, L.C.L., Mázala-de-Oliveira, T., da Silva Chagas, L., Raony, Bomfim, P.O.-S. (2021). COVID-19 pandemic impact on children and adolescents’ mental health: Biological, environmental, and social factors. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry. Malkawi, S.H., Almhdawi, K., Jaber, A.F. et al. COVID-19 Quarantine-Related Mental Health Symptoms and their Correlates among Mothers: A Cross Sectional Study. Matern Child Health J 25, 695-705 (2021). Yeasmin, S., Banik, R., Hossain, S., Hossain, M.N., Mahumud, R., Salma, N., & Hossain, M. (2020). Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of children in Bangladesh: A cross-sectional study. Children and Youth Services Review. Imran, N., Zeshan, M., & Pervaiz, Z. (2020). Mental health considerations for children & adolescents in COVID-19 Pandemic. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences. For Italian findings, see, Davico, C., Ghiggia, A., Marcotulli, D., Ricci, F., Amianto, F., & Vitiello, B. (2021). Psychological Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Adults and Their Children in Italy. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12; Di Giorgio, E., Di Riso, D., Mioni, G. et al. The interplay between mothers’ and children behavioral and psychological factors during COVID-19: an Italian study. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry 30, 1401-1412 (2021). 020-01631-3; Vallejo-Slocker, L., Fresneda, J., & Vallejo, M.A. (2020). Psychological wellbeing of vulnerable children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Psicothema, 32(4), 501-507. For Australian findings see Li, S.H., Beames, J.R., Newby, J.M. et al. The impact of COVID-19 on the lives and mental health of Australian adolescents. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry (2021). Also, Orgilés et al. 2020; and Westrupp, E.M., Bennett, C., Berkowitz, T. et al. Child, parent, and family mental health and functioning in Australia during COVID-19: comparison to pre-pandemic data. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry (2021). Schmidt, S.J., Barblan, L.P., Lory, I., & Landolt, M.A. (2021). Age-related effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health of children and adolescents. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 12(1). Magklara, K., Lazaratou, H., Barbouni, A., Poulas, K., Farsalinos, K., & Group, C.G.R. (2020). For Irish findings, see O’Sullivan, Katriona, Serena Clark, Amy McGrane, Nicole Rock, Lydia Burke, Neasa Boyle, Natasha Joksimovic, and Kevin Marshall (2021). “A Qualitative Study of Child and Adolescent Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Ireland”, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 3: 1062. For South Africa, see Sithole, this volume. For Qatar see, Abdelrahman, M., Al-Adwan, D. & Hasan, Y. Impact of Social Distancing on the Mental Health of Parents and Children in Qatar. Int J Ment Health Addiction (2021).

[18] See also, Farley 2022.

[19] In the United States the Center for Disease Control and Prevention noted that in the early phase of the lockdown (May 2020) Emergency Department visits “for suspected suicide attempts began to increase among adolescents aged 12-17 years, especially girls. During February 21-March 20, 2021, suspected suicide attempt ED visits were 50.6% higher among girls aged 12-17 years than during the same period in 2019; among boys aged 12-17 years, suspected suicide attempt ED visits increased 3.7%”.

[20] Fernando Reimers (Ed.), Primary and Secondary Education during COVID-19.

[21] UNESCO, UNICEF, the World Bank and OECD. From Learning Recovery to Education Transformation. Insights and reflections from the 4th survey on national education responses to COVID-10 School Closures (Paris: UNESCO. 2022), 7.

[22] See UNICEF, “Children in a Digital World – UNICEF”. UNICEF Division of Communication, 2017. 

[23] The 2019 XPrize (disclosure: I served in the Board of Advisors of the 2019 Education XPrize), was awarded to KitKit School out of South Korea and the U.S., and one billion, operating in Kenya and the U.K. XPrize set its 2019 award to support the development of scalable services that could enable children to teach themselves basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills within 15 months. The project required each competing platform to be field-tested in Swahili, reaching nearly 3,000 children in 170 villages across Tanzania. Kitkit School, with a team from Berkeley, Calif. and Seoul, developed a program with a game-based core and flexible learning architecture to help kids learn independently, while one billion merged numeracy content with literacy material to provide directed learning and activities alongside monitoring to personalize responses to children’s needs. Shieber, Jonathan. “Xprize Names Two Grand Prize Winners in $15 Million Global Learning Challenge”. TechCrunch, May 16, 2019. 

[24] See Reimers, Fernando M., Uche Amaechi, Alysha Banerji, and Margaret Wang. “Can universities and schools learn together? Connecting research, teaching and outreach to sustain educational opportunity during a pandemic”. An educational calamity (2021): 3.

[25] Stanford’s Bridgit Barron sums up a review of the literature, “Radio, television, and the Internet were deployed in an attempt to connect schools and homes. Learners in rural areas, citizens from less affluent countries, families who have less wealth, and female students were the least likely to have access to any of these forms of remote learning” (2022).

[26] Barron, Bridgit, Global Learning Ecologies: Leveraging Technologies for Equity. In Education: The Global Compact In A Time Of Crisis. Columbia University Press, 2022.

[27] Wolf, Maryanne, “The Future of Literacy in a Digital Culture: Reconciling the Promise and Perils in our ‘Hinge Moment’”. In Education: The Global Compact In A Time Of Crisis. Columbia University Press, 2022.

[28] Katzir, Tami. “The Feeling of Reading in a Changing World: From Neurons to Narratives”. In Education: The Global Compact In A Time Of Crisis. Columbia University Press, 2022.

[29] See “Children in a Digital World – UNICEF, 2017”.

[30] See Wolf, Maryanne. “The Future of Literacy in a Digital Culture: Reconciling the Promise and Perils in our ‘Hinge Moment’”. In Education: The Global Compact In A Time Of Crisis. Columbia University Press, 2022.

[31] See “Children in a Digital World – UNICEF, 2017”. 

[32] Pope Francis, Address at Patriarchal Church of St. George, Istanbul, November 30, 2014. 

[33] “Transforming Education: An urgent political imperative for our collective future. Vision Statement of the Secretary-General on Transforming Education”. United Nations Transforming Education Summit 2022. Vision Statement of Secretary-General on Transforming Education, United Nations

[34] Waters asks, “Why would immigrants and racial ethnic minorities have higher rates of COVID? First, immigrants in rich countries are overrepresented in high-risk occupations. Immigrants are much more likely to work in the service industry, in jobs that cannot be conducted from home, and that put them in greater contact with other people and thus at risk for this airborne disease. Based on 2018 U.S. Census Bureau data for a report on COVID-19 impacts, 69% of all immigrants in the US labor force and 74% of undocumented workers were reported to be essential workers, compared to 65% of the native-born labor force; 70% of refugees and 78% of Black refugees are essential workers, with non-US-citizens making up 9% of the labor force but 22% of workers in the agricultural industry. In New York, the hardest hit U.S. city during the first wave of the pandemic, 50% of non-governmental frontline workers are migrants. Health care is another high-risk industry where immigrants are 17% of the overall workforce but 29% of all physicians and 38% of all home health aides” (this volume).

[35] Konstans Wells, Robin Flynn, “Managing Host-Parasite Interactions in Humans and Wildlife in Times of Global Change”, Parasitology Research (September 6, 2022).

[36] See also, Nature Outlook, 26 October 2022. “Preparing the world for the next pandemic”. 

[37] Andrew K. Githeko et al., “Climate Change and Vector-Borne Diseases: a Regional Analysis”. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 2000. 

[38] “No el mucho saber harta y satisface al anima, mas el sentir y gustar de las cosas internamente”.

[39] Poor People’s Moral Budget

[40] “H.Res.438 – Third Reconstruction: Fully addressing poverty and low wages from the bottom up”.