The staggering number of children orphaned in the United States by COVID-19

In addition, the situation complicates how to handle the duel, which could have consequences in the future.

Photo: Fernando Bizerra / EFE

Until this moment, the coronavirus pandemic has left more than half a million deaths in the United States; people of all ages have lost their lives to this terrible disease.

That also means that thousands of children have lost one of their parents this year and, in the worst case scenario, both.

On this subject, JAMA magazine published a chilling statistic by a researcher at Stony Brook University named Rachel Kidman, who says that until February, Between 37,300 and 43,000 children in the United States were orphans, having lost at least one of their parents to COVID-19.

“Children who lose one of their parents they are at high risk of suffering traumatic grief, depression, poor educational results, involuntary death and suicide ”, consequences “that can persist into adulthood,” Kidman indicates in his study.

The authors compare this situation with the terrorist attacks against the Twin Towers in 2001, assuring that said incident left 3,000 children without one of their 2 relatives.

In addition, they warn that these losses due to the pandemic take place at a time of social isolation, operational difficulties in institutions and economic problems “that can leave children in mourning without the support they need.”

The study combines data on mortality during COVID-19 with information on kinship networks to quantify how many children between the ages of 0 and 17 in the United States have lost a parent.

In this way, they conclude that the pandemic has left, in one year, between 18% and 20% more orphans than what is usually usual.

The report also maintains that black children are the most affected and details that while African American minors represent 14% of the population, 20% of these children have lost at least one of their two parents.

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 on children, from increased physical violence to food insecurity, will leave a mark on this generation. We show that children are also increasingly experiencing the death of parents, which can have serious and long-lasting consequences, ”Kidman said.

For this reason, the presentation of the study emphasizes that “radical national reforms are needed to address the health, educational and economic consequences that affect children, particularly during this period of greater social isolation.

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