Thursday, 19 November 2020

Gavin Newsom's wife says COVID lockdowns are causing children 'sadness, anxiety and despair' amid embarrassing fallout over photos showing the couple ignoring coronavirus guidelines at ritzy dinner party

 The wife of California governor Gavin Newsom says lockdowns are having a damaging effect on children in her state - after her husband slapped residents with harsh new restrictions amid an explosion of coronavirus cases. 

Jennifer Siebel Newsom made the claim in an introductory essay for a new report by The California Partners Project which examines how teenagers are coping with life amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The essay comes just days after the couple were harshly criticized for attending a dinner party without social distancing or masks.

The First Lady of California - who shares four children with Newsom - expressed particular concern that kids now had an increased dependence on phones and laptops for socializing and schooling. 

'We're outraged that California's families find themselves in this position when there are still so many unanswered questions about the risks technology may pose to kids' brain health and bodies,' Siebel Newsom and her co-author, Lisa Ling, wrote.

'As these adolescents fall asleep with their phones under their pillows, tragically their sadness, anxiety, and despair are mounting – as is their dependence on the devices themselves,' the pair added. 

The report, titled 'Are The Kids Alright?' was compiled following interviews with 46 teenagers from across California. 

Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California governor Gavin Newsom,  says COVID lockdowns are having a damaging effect on children in her state - after her husband slapped residents with harsh new restrictions amid an explosion of coronavirus cases

Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California governor Gavin Newsom,  says COVID lockdowns are having a damaging effect on children in her state - after her husband slapped residents with harsh new restrictions amid an explosion of coronavirus cases

The findings ultimately concluded that lockdowns have been detrimental for teenagers because they are missing out on forming crucial identity-forming experiences that only face-to-face socializing and schooling can provide.  

'Teens are experiencing a tremendous loss due to school closure and social isolation,' the report argues. 

'School acted as a stabilizing force with structure and social aspects that are no longer available. Teens missed milestones that they'll never get back. When they talk about these losses, teens describe an evolution of feelings since March, including denial, anger, [and] depression'.


The report goes on: 'Sports, clubs, theater, and arts provide kids the ability to find and indulge passions, meet different people, and develop new friend groups as a way to build identity. 

'The cancellation of these activities has left behind a deep loss of both the day-to-day experience of these activities and the expected life-defining moments they often provide'.

The First Lady of California - who shares four children with Newsom - expressed particular concern that kids now had an increased dependence on phones and laptops for socializing and schooling. The couple are pictured together last month

The First Lady of California - who shares four children with Newsom - expressed particular concern that kids now had an increased dependence on phones and laptops for socializing and schooling. The couple are pictured together last month 

Despite the 'loss' that occurs during lockdowns, Governor Newsom has imposed new harsh restrictions on Californians due to rising COVID-19 cases. 

'We are sounding the alarm,' Newsom stated at a press conference earlier this week. 

'California is experiencing the fastest increase in cases we have seen yet — faster than what we experienced at the outset of the pandemic or even this summer. The spread of COVID-19, if left unchecked, could quickly overwhelm our health care system and lead to catastrophic outcomes.'  

Under his new rules, Newsom has shut down indoor activities for 94 percent of the state and paused his reopening plan. 

Forty-one of California's 58 counties moved into a COVID-19 reopening risk tier starting Tuesday, saying he was hitting the 'emergency brake'.

Under the purple tier indoor operations for museums, houses of worship, gyms and restaurants are not allowed. Bars that don't provide food, concert venues, schools, and theme parks are also closed.

Counties going under the purple tier include Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Napa - where the restaurant he attended is located - and Solano counties in the Bay Area as well as Los Angeles.

Despite the 'loss' that occurs during lockdowns, Governor Newsom has imposed new harsh restrictions on Californians due to rising COVID-19 cases

Despite the 'loss' that occurs during lockdowns, Governor Newsom has imposed new harsh restrictions on Californians due to rising COVID-19 cases 

Newsom has also stated that residents must following strict rules if they celebrate Thanksgiving next week. 

He has asked residents to not to hold large events, and has asked that residents mix with people from no more than two other households. 

Newsom further requests that Thanksgiving events take place outside and that they go for no longer than two hours. 

The orders come despite the fact Newsom and his wife attended a semi-indoor birthday party held with a group of 11 friends on November 6. 

Photos from the event, which took place at The French Laundry, a famous restaurant in Napa Valley, show the governor as he sits with the large group. The images were obtained by Fox 11. 

Before the pictures emerged, Newsom apologized for the outing, saying he should not have gone and should be setting a better example.  He also claimed he did not know how many people would be there. 

'I made a bad mistake.  should have stood up and … drove back to my house. The spirit of what I'm preaching all the time was contradicted. I need to preach and practice, not just preach. 

'You have to own it, and you have to be forthright and I'm doing my best every single day in trying to model better behavior,' he said.

California tightens COVID restrictions as cases spike
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Newsom and his wife attended a semi-indoor birthday party held with a group of 11 friends on November 6 - an act which flew in the face of his own recommendations

Newsom and his wife attended a semi-indoor birthday party held with a group of 11 friends on November 6 - an act which flew in the face of his own recommendations 

Photos from the event, which took place at The French Laundry, a famous restaurant in Napa Valley, show the governor as he sits with the large group. The photos were obtained by Fox 11 LA via a Twitter user

Photos from the event, which took place at The French Laundry, a famous restaurant in Napa Valley, show the governor as he sits with the large group. The photos were obtained by Fox 11 LA via a Twitter user


Newsom plunged most of California back into the strictest reopening measures on Monday after a spike in cases, after chastising people for 'letting their guard down'

Newsom plunged most of California back into the strictest reopening measures on Monday after a spike in cases, after chastising people for 'letting their guard down'

California has now logged more than 1million cases of Covid and 18,000 deaths, with cases now rising at the fastest rate ever

Newsom said cases are now rising at their fastest rate since the start of the pandemic.

On Monday, California had logged 1,029,235 cases, 18,263 deaths and had a positivity rate of 4.6 percent – up three percent from October 29. 

In the past two weeks in California there has been a 48 percent increase in hospital beds used by COVID-19 patients and the number of ICU patients has also risen 38 percent over the same time period. 

'We are sounding the alarm. The spread of COVID-19, if left unchecked, could quickly overwhelm our health care system and lead to catastrophic outcomes,' Newsom said.

'Bottom line is, we're moving from a marathon to a sprint,' he said.

Newsom said that more tier announcements will be made as necessary and that counties can move back more than one tier at a time.

Furthermore, California is also requiring people to wear a mask whenever outside of their home, with a few exceptions. State officials are also debating placing a curfew.

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