New studies suggest that the earlier estimated count of orphaned kids due to the Covid-19 may be lower than the actual count. The new estimated count shows approximately 1,20,000 kids lost their caregivers to the Covid-19 virus.
More than 50% of the kids who lost their primary caregiver are from two racial groups-the black and Hispanic Americans. These two racial groups make about 40 % of the United States population.
More Than 1,20,000 US Kids Were Orphaned During The Pandemic.
The medical journal Pediatrics published the study.
Dr. Alexandra, one of the study’s authors, said, ” the study reveals those children who have been affected the most by the pandemic.” He highlights the point that more resources must be directed towards these children.
The study underlines that about 1,20,000 children lost their parent or grandparent who was their primary caregiver and financial provider during the 19 months-long Covid-19 pandemics.
Apart from these kids, approximately 22,000 other kids lost their secondary caregiver to the deadly Covid-19 pandemic. Secondary caregivers are those who do not provide financial support to the kid but provide other essential care. A grandparent providing housing to the kid but not the other basic needs is the secondary caregiver.
In multiple cases, the surviving parent of the child or other relatives are providing care to these kids, but the study uses the term ‘orphanhood’ for these kids. The term ‘orphanhood’ was used to estimate all the children whose lives were affected by the Covid-19 virus.
The federal agencies are yet to release the total count of kids who went into foster care last year. Research so far indicates a 15% rise in the number of orphaned children.
Earlier studies showed that the number of orphaned kids in the United States is roughly 40,000 as of February 2021.
The author of the earlier study, Ashton Verdery, said, ” the two studies are not out of sync. The earlier study focused on a shorter period. However, the newer study read larger periods. Verdery’s study focused only on the deaths of the parents. But the new study also focuses upon what happened to the caregiving grandparents.
Verdery added, ” it is necessary to understand about the caregiving grandparents as well. Because many children live with their grandparents.” The living arrangement wherein children live with their grandparents is more common among certain racial groups.
Studies show that 26% of the kids who lost their caregivers belong to Black Americans. However, about 32% of the kids were Hispanic. Apart from this, about 35% of the kids who lost their primary caregiver were white Americans.
The new study focuses upon excess death; excess death is that count of death above which it would be considered typical.
A teenager from Georgia, Kate Kelly, lost her father in January. Ketty said,” he had difficulty breathing, and the urgent care clinic suspected it was because of Covid-19. But the 54-year-old man died of a heart attack at work. Doctors found out that he had a blocked artery. His death left behind three daughters and his wife.
The Covid-19 virus proves to be a double-edged sword for the kids.