According to a study published Monday in the JAMA Pediatrics journal of the American Medical Association, in the past year, an estimated 37,300 to 43,000 American children have experienced the loss of at least one parent due to COVID-19.
A closer look at the data reveals that the authors of this study admit that in the ongoing pandemic, the burden has fallen disproportionately on black children.
In the United States, black children account for only 14% of children under the age of 18, but studies estimate that among parents, they account for 20% of coronavirus parents.
The authors said they were able to “track the bereavement of parents in the evolution of the pandemic” by estimating the expected number of affected children for each COVID-19 death.
They wrote: “We use the kinship network of white and black American individuals estimated through population microsimulation to calculate the bereavement multiplier, and then use the multiplier to estimate the parental bereavement under various mortality situations. range.”
According to the authors, these estimates are based on demographic models, rather than “including bereavement of non-parent main caregivers.” They added that the research also relied on “determined, publicly available data” rather than “being considered the object of human research”.
They write that their research model “recommends that every COVID-19 death will cause 0.078 year-old children 0-17 years old to lose their loved ones,” they noted, which represents “an increase in parental bereavement without COVID-19 by 17.5. % To 20.2%”.
According to the authors, the estimated number of children who have lost their parents due to the coronavirus is “astonishing,” and said: “A radical national reform is needed to address the health, education and economic impact that affects children.”
They wrote: “Sudden deaths of parents, such as those caused by COVID-19, may cause special trauma to children and make their families unprepared to deal with the consequences.”
They added: “Furthermore, COVID-19 losses occur at a time of social isolation, institutional pressure and financial difficulties, which may cause the bereaved children to lose the support they need.”
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, since the beginning of the pandemic, the United States has confirmed nearly 31 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 555,000 deaths.