Czech pupils suffer from various negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as weight gain, mental illnesses, and family problems.

Brno pediatrician, Tamara Polášková, explained that pupils gain weight and feel more depressed because of the reduced physical activity and loss of social interactions. 

Based on the Linka bezpečí (Safety Line) research in 2020, there was a sharp increase in the younger patients who used their services – 28 percent. Most of the problems were connected to cyberbullying, family troubles, suicide thoughts, and thoughts of self-harm. 

“There is also a growing number of adolescents with an eating disorder. At the same time, the number of young people with symptoms of depression, which also require pharmacological help, is increasing significantly,” Bohuslav Procházka, a member of the committee of the Professional Society of General Practitioners of the Czech Medical Society of Jan Evangelista Purkyně explained. 

Chairwoman of the professional society of pediatricians, Alena Šebková, adds that pupils spend too much time on the computer because they also use it not only for studies, but for communications with friends, games, and hobbies. Currently, Šebková sees an increase in younger patients with panic attacks and sleeping disorders who need professional help.

Pupils have studied in the online regime since March last year. They returned to school briefly in September but the government announced another lockdown. Currently, the government prolonged the state of emergency for two more weeks until March 1st. The opposition parties didn’t agree with the prolongation. However, the government agreed to build a plan for a gradual return of students to schools from March.