Elder abuse skyrocketed amid the spread of COVID-19.
As The Wall Street Journal highlighted, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported 105,000 elderly internet crime victims and $1 billion in losses during 2020 alone. A study from Yale University likewise found that more than one in five seniors living in homes or apartments reported abuse in April and May of 2020 — an 83.6% increase from before the onset of COVID-19.
Instances of elder abuse ranged from theft to physical abuse, according to the outlet:
In Denver, a temporary caregiver on probation for a felony robbery conviction was hired to fill a Covid-related staff shortage at a long-term-care facility. She stole an engagement ring and credit cards from Barbara Gust, an 86-year-old mother and grandmother who was dying of Covid. A few hours after Ms. Gust died, the caregiver used one of the cards to make a $2.37 purchase at a local Wendy’s restaurant, Denver Police Department records show.
In Miami, Shirley Gibson’s property, which had been in her family for a century, was stolen by three people, who forged the octogenarian’s name on a deed and sold it in a virtual transaction that had become commonplace during the pandemic, according to Florida law-enforcement officials.
In Memphis, Tenn., Alfred Mayes has new locks on his doors after his son, who had been living with him, became abusive, at one point hitting Mr. Mayes with a crowbar. Family members say the pandemic kept Mr. Mayes’s other children and grandchildren from visiting regularly to see how father and son were coping.
In another incident covered by The Daily Wire last year, 37-year-old Jesse Martinez was arrested for allegedly striking a senior citizen to death with an oxygen tank for praying — an incident that occurred while the two men were sharing a room at a Southern California hospital. Both were receiving treatment for COVID-19.
Beyond the elderly, young people were severely impacted by COVID-related lockdown measures.
One study from the United Kingdom compared morbidity statistics from the UK’s National Child Morbidity Database with Public Health England testing data between March 2020 and February 2021. The study found that 25 “children and young people” — defined as people under eighteen years of age — died of COVID-19 during the period; the morbidity rate for COVID-19 was therefore two per every million. However, 124 children died of suicide during the same period — five times the number of children who had died of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, social media platform TikTok surpassed Instagram and Snapchat in popularity. A report from The Daily Mail notes that content posted by transgender influencers has been seen by millions of young viewers.
As of Sunday, videos with the hashtag “Trans” have been seen more than 26 billion times. The outlet also said that TikTok is locking arms with Stonewall — a LGBTQ organization — to promote the material.
“We are honoured that the LGBTQ+ community has embraced TikTok from our very early days, as a platform for self-expression, education, community-building and joy,” A spokesman for TikTok told The Daily Mail. A spokesman for Stonewall added: “Our content allows young LGBTQ+ people to know that they are not alone in their experiences.”