The first week of school ended with a positive news that brought the students back to class with a smile. A relief visible to all after the farewell to the restrictions of the past years thanks to the abandonment of the masks. For over 8 million Italian students, this year’s return to school was a return to normalcy: finally we returned to the classroom in conditions very similar to those of before the Covid-19 pandemic. Still, judging from the analysis of Umberto Nizzoliclinical psychologist specialized in the treatment of mood and eating disorders in Reggio Emilia, the psycho-physical effects of prolonged use of masks in children and adolescents are far from archived. On the contrary…
School, back to normal: but the damage from the obligation of masks remains
«Finally this relational barrier is removed. Having forced them to wear a mask has inevitably complicated their development path, especially for the little ones. Now the conditions that allow a better development are being restored, but the experience of these 2 years has not been and will not be at zero cost “, he stressed to theAdnkronos Health the clinician, who examined not only the physical and psychological consequences associated with the prolonged use of masks in children and teenagers, but also the state of mind of the same subjects upon returning to school without the obligation.
The explanation of the psychologist Nizzoli
“We have on the face – Nizzoli said – a few dozen muscles that are useless in terms of survival. It could be a question to ask Darwin, if he were still alive: how come in the selection process that has been and is, these useless muscles have been kept from an evolutionary point of view? I’m all functional muscles for communication, which have been maintained because they are the ones that allow us to recognize the emotional condition of the other: closeness or distance, sympathy, anger… In short, all that series of states that improve the quality of the relationship with others ».
Here are the psycho-physical effects of prolonged use of masks
These expressions are like “traffic lights in the individual’s growth path, in the learning process that also exploits the relationship with others. If the faces around them are covered, it is like having a child study math without having an algebra book. The decoding of visual images is a natural process that settles in the human brain in early childhood, between the ages of 3 and 6.. Afterwards you can learn the same, but through an effort and no longer spontaneously“. For the little ones, therefore, once the masks have been removed, it will not be immediate or easy to recognize the associated expressions and emotions.
Studies even speak of “loss of IQ”: that’s why
«We have a lot of evidence – says Nizzoli also on the basis of his experience as a clinical psychologist – of effects caused, in the last 2 and a half years, by these anti-Covid restrictions such as the obligation to mask: states of agitation, irritability, isolation, asociality, dysregulation of impulses but also the loss of IQ – warns -. L’American Psychological Association speaks of a global loss of intelligence, especially in the population of this age group. There is no doubt that there has been damage. There are development windows that allow you to build brain architectures that occur at certain stages of life. In later times they involve much more difficulties e fragility“.