Published: 2021-04-06 10:26
Last Updated: 2021-04-12 18:43
Approximately 40,000 children in America lost at least one parent to COVID-19, nearly 30,000 of which are teenagers, as reported by the New York Daily News.
A member of the Public Health program at Stony Brook University Rachel Kidman said “As of February 2021, 37,300 children up to 17 years of age lost at least one parent due to COVID-19, three-quarters of whom were adolescents.”
In addition to the grief of losing a parent at such an early age, it is also a challenge to support these children during the pandemic and increased social isolation, Kidman explained.
The research was based on estimates built on demographic models instead of data from surveys or statistics, Kidman said. She also noted that this study does not include primary caregivers that children lost to COVID-19.
Psychologist and professor at Duke University Medical Center Robin Gurwitch told CNN that “What makes deaths from COVID more challenging than, say, if somebody passed away of old age, is that the deaths related to COVID may lead to child traumatic grief, which is different than just grief itself,”
Gurwitch continued saying “The normal activities related to death cannot happen, so a child that’s lost someone right now, no matter what the circumstances, but particularly due to COVID, make it so much more challenging because all the things that I would normally do, I can’t do, the family can’t do.”