Lockdowns, Life, and Death
Everyone needs to read this story and mourn for Mila and all the lost children. "Our children need their world back". What our children will need to really heal is an extraordinary effort to "right the ship" that callously derailed their lives and psyches these past two years. Are we up to the task? I sure hope so. I'm sending this post to my Congressional Rep and Senators. This should be our priority as a nation. Sending love and healing to Mila's family. Thank you Heather.
I read your essays, Heather, because you bring some degree of reason and balance into my thinking. I have to; otherwise I would despair. I know I need to seek out wisdom in this upside-down world.
And, the comments here are compassionate and sympathetic, and I appreciate that. It's a balm. Maybe that will prevail if we ever get to a reckoning.
But, I'm am raging; this is but one of the beautiful lives we have sacrificed to safety-ism. I am furious, and I can not imagine these parents' agony. These are not tears of sorrow streaming from my eyes as I read this letter, they are tears of fury.
So many lies, so much evil. Their lust for power and their politics as religion have destroyed us. Science lies in its grave alongside its sister, theology, murdered by simple greed.
This heartbreaking story has multiple parts - the part where our government brought in the freedom to legally purchase THC and the part where the same government that took our other freedoms away, also in the name of a drug. Both actions have been devastating to our children's hopes and futures. But the third part of this story is the counsellor that was ill-equipped to deal with the real problems teens are facing in this 'new normal.' In all cases people were acting above their pay grade. The government were not experts in drug abuse and drug trafficking but acted as they were when they legalized cannabis and it's products, certainly the current leaders aren't experts in any sense of the word of medical industry but acting like they are scientists and doctors, and the counsellor who thought suggesting 'just use less' was proper drug abuse advice should be relegated to the janitor, although the janitor would probably have given her better advice. Mila didn't fail anyone - the so-called leaders in charge failed Mila. My heart aches for Mila's family and I'm praying grief is gentle with them. Thank you for sharing their story.
I had two traumatic experiences since the beginning of the pandemic.
The first was early in 2020, when viewing a homemade YouTube video from somewhere in the US. It pictured an elderly woman in a nursing home, sitting in a wheelchair, frantically rubbing her hand on the window separating her from the loved ones who had come to visit her, and pleading with them to come in and be with her. Clearly not understanding why they were staying behind the glass, away from her. This went on for several minutes after which she gave up, stopped rubbing the glass, rested her hand on her lap, and lowered her chin on her chest. Eventually, a care worker who was seen throughout the video walking back and forth behind the woman, came to collect her and rolled her away. That's when I understood how inhuman the society we live in is. It broke my heart. To this day, I often wake up in the middle of the night crying with visions of this woman, and of the terrible things done to her.
I know I won't be able to forget Tara's story. That visions of Mila will be there at night when I wake up crying. My second traumatic experience of the pandemic.
These pandemic measures are killing us. They are sapping the life out of our kids, of our elderly, of you and I. They must end.
Thank you, Tara, for enriching my head and heart with the story of Mila’s life. I am in tears after reading this. When we say that we have to balance the efforts to curb spread of the disease with concern for people hurt by those measures, this is what we mean. Will share.
Before we were lied to about covid, we were lied to about marijuana.
I am deeply sorry for Mila's family.
Alex Berenson, an old school firebrand journalist who goes where the evidence leads, wrote about this in "Tell Your Children, The Truth about Marijuana, Mental Illness and Violence" which I read after a friend's son committed suicide following a marijuana-induced psychotic break.
Alex now 'warriors on' about covid on his Substack, Unreported Truths, no matter how much a of pariah it has made him. I highly commend his writing as another oasis of sanity.
Thank you for writing this. My heart breaks for Mila and her family. I share a similar story, but my son survived his suicide attempt after experiencing psychosis from marijuana. He developed the pediatric disease of addiction and we spent his teen years in treatment. High school was not a priority anymore. He achieved 3 years of sobriety but relapsed and we haven't seen him in a year and a half.
I'm from Pueblo Colorado, ground zero for the marijuana expansion movement. As are response to the deviating harms of marijuana and the drug culture expansion, I developed a community called Every Brain Matters. https://everybrainmatters.org/
I now speak to families every day in crisis from marijuana use. This past Sunday I spoke to a family who was told to put their son in long-term care (nursing home) because he is permanently psychotic from marijuana. Just a few weeks ago, I spoke at a memorial service for Joshua. Joshua was having his 3rd psychotic break when he jumped in front of a train. Please listen. https://youtu.be/vfB7FGpvTCk
Marijuana is a factor in the increase in violence, addiction, homelessness, suicides, and mental illness.
Thank you for sharing Mila's story (and Dan's and Jordan's very recently). As Mila stated we all need to wake up, stand up and be "the person who did the hard thing because it was right."
You know, I've essentially become desensitized to the phrase "children are resilient". It's become one of those heuristic phrases that removes all notion of nuance and complexity when it comes to the welfare of our children.
What's shocking isn't Mila's story, but that Mila's story is likely the story of so many of our children! It's quite haunting that the story constantly detailed how so many students began to use those THC pens, so you know that there are likely to be dozens of students suffering in that one school alone!
We need to understand that we can't conflate the notion of creating "anti-fragile" children with the notion that "children are resilient". Children are resilient to the extent that they will recover quickly from a broken bone, but in no way can we say that we are creating "anti-fragile" children who are able to thrive within the environments that we have forced them to live under. We need to create mentally strong children, and that includes providing them the avenues to flourish mentally. Under no circumstances can we argue that children have been flourishing with all of these draconian measures!
We all need to understand that just because are alive does not mean we are living. So many children have not been able to live, and we will have to live with the consequences of taking away the livelihoods of millions of children.
I read the story and could not fall asleep. My heart aches for Mila, her family and many other kids. I've always felt most concerned about children during the pandemic. My three kids are with me, but they have suffered enormously, and no one will compensate for the loss. We were raising them with minimum exposure to social media and computers in general - they were all into arts, nature, and hands-on learning. They were excellent at school, top students, winning competitions in creative writing, maths, natural sciences, travelling, etc. The pandemic management rules turned almost everything upside down. My teenaged son finished art school playing his chello alone in front of the computer's dark screen: no playing with his teachers, friends, no projects and competitions, no graduation concert. His drawings scattered around the house with no one to look at them but the family. He hated wasting time on-line but is still being forced to sit hours and hours with the computer. My daughter, like Mila, graduated from high school "on-line", entered to study life sciences at a university only to find out that the only professor daring to doubt the narrative was a teacher of English. Her studies were switched to a distant mode just a month after they began - she didn't even have time to make new friends and learn living by herself in another city. She survived covid and refused getting the vaccine or use the "opportunity passport", so was forced to take an academic leave. She's not going back to study life sciences. She hopes to start studying classical literature, if vaccine mandates are cancelled by next fall. My youngest one no longer wants to attend his primary school because he feels sick at the end of the day from mask wearing...
There are so many similar stories around the world that it scares me. It also scares and angers me how many adults keep pretending that everything is just fine with kids and students, that they can easily adjust, that "soft" drugs aren't dangerous, that being safe is most important, that one can actually get jabbed if they value community and education...
Thank you for spreading the stories that matter so much! Though painful, they give strength and ecouragement to fight.
Thank you for sharing. I’ve really begun to realize just lately with my own children how much this is messing them up mentally. They are so stressed about doing the right thing and not getting sick that they just can’t function anymore with out worrying every single hour of their lives. I’ve done everything I possibly could to diminish their fear and help them live their lives as normal as possible. But we’ve failed them and we will need to live with the consequences of these actions for a long time to come. Prayers for Tara and her family.
Heart wrenching and sickening.
This is how I lost my beautiful daughter too, on October 28, 2020. Her name was Erin. Thank you for writing about your daughter Mila
I lost my only child, my 17 year-old son four years ago to suicide. I found him. I worked hard to stay in our home, to make it my sanctuary. Last week, my husband lost his job of 22 years -- no warning, no severance. He works in transportation and the chip shortage has devastated his industry. He turns 60 next month. Now, we must sell our home and move. We have lived under Covid lockdowns in CA; I was hoping we would make it. Now, I am so broken I can barely eat or sleep. This will be the last house where my son had a bedroom. My heart breaks for Mila's mom -- I know her endless pain.
This story is tragic in so many ways…The consequences of the global response to Covid-19 will someday be viewed as one of the greatest harms humans ever perpetrated on each other. Also, as a clinical social worker with a specialty in substance abuse, I wish that people would stop normalizing marijuana use and pretending it’s harmless. In addition, I would like to see us stop the fiction of “harm reduction” and get serious about helping people overcome the prison of addiction before more lives are lost.
It cannot be said often enough. Covid didn't make this happen the governments both national and local did this, and it broke people. How many and how badly is going to become clear in the decades to come.
I come also back to a comment I read online, "Are the marijuana legalization lawyers the same ones that negotiated the settlements with the tobacco companies and in 20 years will they be doing the same thing to the marijuana companies?" Probably not the exact same, but I agree with the spirit of the statement.