America’s COVID Orphans

Behind so many COVID-19 deaths: The children who’ve lost parents to the disease—nearly 40,000 of them in the US alone, according to a new JAMA Pediatricsresearch letter, CNN reports

  • The modeling study estimates that for each COVID-19 death, 0.078 children aged 0–17 were left without a parent—a figure known as the “parental bereavement multiplier.”
  • Black children bear the brunt. They make up 20% of the bereaved children—despite making up just 14% of under-18s in the US, The Hill reports.

 
The context only adds to their challenges: “COVID-19 losses are occurring at a time of social isolation, institutional strain, and economic hardship, potentially leaving bereaved children without the supports they need,” the authors say.
 
“Sweeping national reforms” are needed to boost support for grieving children, they say, per CNN.

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