A few days ago, the principal at my daughter’s school emailed everyone the sad news that one of the area high school students committed suicide.
I’m not aware of the details, so I’m not going to speculate on the specifics. But it was a grim reminder on the absolutely tragic effects the lockdowns have had on kids, families, business owners, and everyone.
While we’ve all been working overtime to avoid COVID, we’re walking headlong into suicide, depression, alcohol and drug abuse, loneliness, stress, domestic abuse, and a litany of undiagnosed illnesses that will kill some people. All of these conditions are on the rise.
Early into the lockdown, my daughter decided that since it appeared her various activities were going to be cancelled, she should take advantage of the opportunity to get a job.
She got a fast food job, just like the ones that are so often maligned and ridiculed by Democrats. I was proud as hell, for all of the reasons you would expect. That she took the initiative to do it herself said a lot about who she will grow up to be. (Imagine my surprise when she came home and told me she got a job, and I had no idea she was even looking…)
That was early last year. As I think about this poor kid who just didn’t think he had the support, I can’t help but think of how lucky my daughter was to have gotten herself a job.
With kids all attending school from home on their computers, even my daughter’s transition from waking up in the morning to attending school is one MacBook on her nightstand away. Sometimes, she’ll do her entire school day still in bed.
Being alone in bed all day is not great for the psyche. It’s almost a training ground for depression. All you need is to abandon all hope, and you’re right there.
She can’t look to sports because there aren’t any. Unlike the other states in the country who are just wrapping up their Winter sport seasons, the State of Washington is “trusting science.” (Not the science that relies on empirical evidence like the other states that are playing sports, mind you. Our science is the one in which you say you’re “listening to the science,” so everything you do after that makes perfect sense.)
Fortunately, she has this job. Her job gets her out of the house three days a week. And she loves it. When she’s there, she gets to meet and work with people of all ages and walks of life. She works with adults who have histories and stories and perspectives. She learns how to have a job. How to be reliable and follow directions.
At her job, she gets the socialization that we all need so much. She gets the socialization that so many kids aren’t getting. It gives her purpose, meaning, and, of course, money.
This is not to suggest she would have otherwise been depressed, but this job may have saved her life at a time where she otherwise would have spent most of her time in her room.
Democrats who want to raise the minimum wage lament that people can’t support a family of four with a job like this. What they miss is that most of these jobs are starter jobs. They’re teaching the next generation of workers how to be self sufficient. How to get, learn, and hold a job.
Raising the minimum wage will kill these jobs as businesses automate or cut staff to avoid needing these workers. Logically, and economically, raising the minimum wage is a proven failure that only destroys jobs, raises prices, and increases unemployment.
But it means more to me. At a time when so many kids are alone and struggling, there’s one entry level job that may have saved a life. I suspect there are many that fit that description.