Five Million Children Have Lost a Caregiver to COVID-19!
As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its third year, the death toll continues to rise and with it, the number of children who may be left without anyone to care for them. By Oct. 31, 2021, more than 5 million people worldwide had died from COVID-19, and about 5.2 million children had lost a parent or caregiver, according to new research published in the Lancet Child and Adolescent Health. Of particular note, wrote the authors, was how the number of affected children surged during the latter part of their study period. During the first 14 months of the pandemic (March 1, 2020, to April 30, 2021), 2,737,300 children were affected by COVID-19-related caregiver death. But that number jumped by 90% during the next 6 months, from April 30 to Oct. 31, 2021, to 5,209,000. Essentially, the number of children who were affected nearly doubled, compared with those observed during that first year.
@digambar A "companion study" was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which looked at parental/caregiver death just within the United States. During the period between April 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021, the researchers found that more than 140,000 children under the age of 18 years had lost a parent, custodial grandparent, or grandparent caregiver because of COVID-19. In addition, there were significant racial, ethnic, and geographic disparities in COVID-19–associated death of caregivers, and the highest burden of death was observed in the Southern states along the U.S.-Mexican border for Hispanic children, Southeastern states for Black children, and in states with tribal areas for American Indian/Alaska Native populations. Overall, almost two-thirds (65%) of the children who lost a primary caregiver belonged to a racial or ethnic minority.