Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wants to pass a COVID-19 relief bill as soon as possible so that America’s youth can get back to dating.
This was one of several concerns addressed by Sanders on the Senate floor Friday as he advocated for a bill amendment to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and spoke about the rise of social isolation, mental illness and suicidal ideation over the course of a year defined by the coronavirus.
“You’ve got young people who want to go to school, who want to socialize, want to date, want to do things that young people do,” the senator said. “And they can’t do it and have been unable to do that for the last year, and that has resulted in a very sharp increase in mental illness in this country.”
Sanders also mentioned the plight of elderly Americans who have been unable to interact with their grandchildren and other extended family members due to COVID-19 restrictions, emphasizing that it has been an “awful year” for people of all ages.
Nevertheless, Sanders’ concern for the romantic prospects of America’s youth struck a chord across social media, and Twitter users chimed in with applause.
Mental health insurance claims for U.S. teenagers aged 13-18 have spiked during the pandemic, according to a Fair Health report released on Tuesday, which points to an increase in a number of conditions, including substance use disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.
Roughly 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder during the pandemic, a rise from 1 in 10 in 2019, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
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