Sunday, December 5

COVID: Due to a pandemic, 140,000 girls and boys in the US lost their father or caregiver


From April 2020 to June 2021, 140,000 girls and boys in the US lost a parent or grandparent who provided them with a home and basic needs.

Photo: Ketut Subiyanto / Pexels

New research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the pandemic has had a devastating impact around the world, particularly those under the age of 18 who have been orphaned. Pediatrics.

In particular, in the United States, 700,000 people have died from the virus, which is why it has had a strong impact on the childcare sector.

CDC researchers found that 120,630 children lost their father or primary caregiver from the start of the pandemic until June 2021, while another 22,007 children lost a secondary caregiver, or someone who takes care of most of the child’s needs, but not all.

The research numbers reveal that approximately one in 500 children in the United States lost their father to Covid-19. Additionally, 65% of affected children are from racial or ethnic minorities, reflecting the disproportionate impact the virus has had on minority communities.

“Children facing orphanhood as a result of Covid are a hidden global pandemic that sadly has not saved the United States,” said Susan Hillis, lead author of the study. “All of us, especially our children, will feel the serious immediate and long-term impact of this problem for generations to come.”

According to the study, the lives of children and adolescents are permanently marked before the loss of a father, a mother or a grandfather who cared for them.

Also, say the CDC researchers, orphanhood is linked to mental health problems, low self-esteem, risky sexual behaviors and a greater danger that minors will end up using drugs, commit suicide or be exploited.

“The scale of the young people affected is a sobering reminder of the devastating impact of the past 18 months,” said Dr Alexandra Blenkinsop, research co-director at Imperial College London. “These findings really highlight the children who have been made most vulnerable by the pandemic and where to allocate additional resources“.

For this analysis, the CDC researchers used mortality, fertility, and census data, and cross-referenced them with the nationwide and statewide numbers of child guardian deaths.

The CDC, Imperial College London and the universities of Harvard, Oxford and Cape Town (from the US, UK and South Africa, respectively) collaborated on the research.

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