Dramatic consequence of COVID-19: around 40,000 children in the US lost at least one of their parents

15 minutes. Between 37,300 and 43,000 children lost at least one of their two parents through February as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, which has already left half a million deaths in the country. This is clear from estimates by a researcher at Stony Brook University, published in the JMA journal of pediatrics.

The study, led by Rachel Kidman, warns that “children who lose a parent are at high risk of traumatic grief, depression, poor educational results, involuntary death and suicide. “He adds that these consequences” can persist into adulthood. “

The authors compare this situation with the terrorist attacks against the Twin Towers in 2001. Due to that sinister 3,000 children lost one of their 2 parents.

They also warn that these losses due to the pandemic take place at a time of social isolation, operational difficulties in institutions and economic problems. All of this “can leave children grieving without the support they need“.

The study combines data on mortality during COVID-19 with information on kinship networks. In this way, it quantifies how many children between 0 and 17 years old in the US have lost one of their parents.

Black children are the most affected

Thus, they conclude that the pandemic has left, in one year, between 18% and 20% more orphans than usual.

The report also argues that Black children are the most affected. It details that although African-American minors represent 14% of the population, 20% of these children have lost at least one of their two parents.

A generation marked by the pandemic

In a statement from Stony Brook University, Dr. Kidman warned of the adverse consequences of the pandemic in minors.

“The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in children, from the increase in physical violence to food insecurity, they will leave a mark on this generation. We show that children are also increasingly experiencing parental death, which can have serious and long-lasting consequences, “Kidman said.

For this reason, in the presentation of the study it is emphasized that ” sweeping national reforms to address the health, educational and economic consequences for children (…), Particularly during this period of greater social isolation “.