COVID-19 has claimed more than 600,000 lives in the U.S., and researchers writing in the journal JAMA Pediatrics calculated that for every 13 deaths caused by the virus, one child under 18 has lost a parent. According to the researchers, that means that as of June 15:
- More than 46,000 kids in the U.S. have lost a parent to COVID-19.
- Three-quarters of the children are adolescents; the others are under age 10.
- About 20 percent of the children who’ve lost parents are Black, though they make up 14 percent of the population.
These deaths have led to a shadow pandemic of bereavement that could have long-lasting effects. The loss of a parent in childhood has been linked to higher risk of substance use, mental health issues, poor performance in school, lower college attendance, lower employment and early death. Read more.