Roderic O'Gorman, the Minister for Children and Youth, is a busy man. Between the outcry at the Mother and Baby Homes Report and the revelations on irregular adoptions, he might be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed.
ut, as important as those legacy issues he has inherited are, he should perhaps be motivated more by what is happening now to almost all children and youth in Ireland than those in the past.
It is now three months since most secondary school students have been in school. Most university students have not been in a classroom for over a year.
A third of parents of secondary schoolgoing children have said school closures had a "major negative impact" on their children's social development, according to a recent CSO survey. More than 90pc felt it had some negative effect.
If they'd asked university students, they may have found something similar, or worse.
When we audit the performance of governments in dealing with this terrible disease, we will no doubt look at three things:
One is the excess death rate, for which Ireland may end up mid-table of the rich nations.
Secondly, we will judge our governments on the speed of vaccinations. At the current rate, Ireland will perform badly.
The Government will hope that blames attaches to the EU for its penny-pinching response, and it should, but Micheál Martin's inability to secure any vaccines from alternative sources - such as the US stockpile of AstraZeneca doses that the Biden administration released last week - should count against the Government.
The third factor will not be the hit on the economy, which has been deep, but the speed and sustainability of the recovery. Fix the economy quickly and a lot will be forgiven.
For some, Covid has had severe economic implications, but for many people who are middle-aged or older, the abiding sense is of boredom. We are fed up, but we'll survive.
We are secure enough in our jobs, our relationships, our friendships, and at a stage in life where we are merely temporarily discommoded.
But for hundreds of thousands of young people, life has been indelibly altered.
One of the few successes in dealing with Covid this Government can claim is that, despite the resistance from teachers' unions and the reticence of Opposition parties, children managed to get back to school last September.
The extended lockdown disrupts not just their learning. They have been taken away from sport, from hobbies, from friends and friendships.
It is not just a year in their lives. For one, it is a larger proportion of their lives than it is for older people. More than that, it is the time of their lives.
It is the time when they make and cement new friendships, experiment with things - ideas, sport, sex, drugs, whatever.
There are kids who will never play in that competition that could have cemented their love for a sport. Some kids won't have done their school concert, in which they may have discovered a passion for performing. Kids will have missed a chance to go to Irish college, which could have ignited a love for the language.
This is an age where habits are formed. We know that girls are very likely to drop out of sport in their teens, and now it is Government policy to effectively ban them from playing sport.
It is likely that there are kids who will never go back to school because of the break, and many others who will never catch up. But, most of all, many have been denied time with their friends, pushing boundaries at an age where mistakes can be made in relative safety.
Most of us adults can think of minor, chance events in our lives that have had lasting impacts. These were times when we were in school or college or in our 20s. We made lifelong friendships, met our husbands or wives. We have a fund of stories from those times.
Secondary school and university students are still sitting in their bedrooms, denied even the most basic social interactions. Young people are most likely to be affected by unemployment, and the terrible social cost that comes with that.
Last week we were all stunned by the violent death of Sarah Everard and it put focus on violence against women.
The brutal truth is that young people are 20 times as likely to die from self-harm than from violent assault.
It will be years before we know the full extent of the trauma people suffer as a result of the continued pause on life.
Most young people will get back into the swing of things, and while they will have missed some important milestones, hopefully they will be made up in other ways.
But for some it is likely to be irrecoverable, and leave lifelong scars.
Last week the National Immunisation Advisory Committee referred to the precautionary principle to wrongly recommend the temporary suspension of the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The principle urges caution when trying something new, or untested, for fear that its consequences may be much worse than what it is designed to alleviate.
Nphet, which last time I checked had the words 'public health' in its title, might have thought of the precautionary principle when it recommended taking children out of school for extended periods, or denying them access to their sports, hobbies, and friends.
They could, of course, point to the dangers of the disease spreading, but they should also be asked to consider the wider public health implications of trying out extended lockdowns.
At this stage, with the disease remaining persistent in the community, there is a danger that Nphet will recommend against the full reopening of schools after Easter.
It is time for the Minister for Children and Youth to forget about historical abuses and to think instead about the current generation of children and youth, and the trauma that they are being told to endure for far too long.