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Wed Apr 7, 2021, 07:17 AM

"Staggering" number of children have lost at least one parent to Covid-19, model estimates





"Staggering" number of children have lost at least one parent to Covid-19, model estimates

https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/05/health/parental-deaths-covid-19-wellness/index.html
By Naomi Thomas, CNN

Updated 2:01 PM ET, Mon April 5, 2021




(CNN) More than a year into the pandemic, children's lives may be starting to look more normal as an increasing number of people get vaccinated and schools reopen. However, many children in the US are contending with the difficult reality that is irreparable: the loss of a parent from Covid-19. One result of the pandemic may be an ever-growing number of "Covid orphans."


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"The number of children experiencing a parent dying of Covid-19 is staggering, with an estimated 37,300 to 43,000 already affected,"
said the research letter, led by Rachel Kidman of the Program in Public Health at Stony Brook University. "Black children are disproportionately affected, comprising only 14% of children in the US but 20% of those losing a parent to Covid-19."

Kidman and coauthors estimated the expected number of affected children for each death from Covid-19, also known as the parental bereavement multiplier.
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They point out that although the bereavement multiplier is small, it translates to large numbers of children who have lost parents.
"As of February 2021, 37,300 children aged 0 to 17 years had lost at least 1 parent due to Covid-19, three-quarters of whom were adolescents," says the research letter.

When the authors factored in excess deaths, they estimated that 43,000 children have lost a parent and looking at a natural herd immunity strategy which resulted in 1.5 million deaths "demonstrates the potential effect of inaction: 116,900 parentally bereaved children."





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