The collaborative commissioned a 2021 report, Hidden Pain, which provided some of the first concrete details on children orphaned by covid-19. To date, there are at least 10.5 million of these children worldwide, with studies showing that the burden has fallen heaviest on low income nations. One report in May 2022 revealed that an estimated 40.9% of covid-19 orphans are in South East Asia and 23.7% in Africa. Egypt, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan are the five countries bearing the brunt of the crisis.
In high income nations, it is ethnic minorities that have been hit hardest. The Hidden Pain report revealed that in the US, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander children were four times more likely to have been orphaned than their white counterparts, with Black and Hispanic children two and a half times more likely. The fate of these children will represent some of the most profound long term consequences of the pandemic.
As the world gives up on even the mildest measures of masking, testing, vaccinating, distancing, and tracking to prevent COVID-19 from spreading and killing the thousands of people still dying every week, I was shocked to see this (now surely well outdated) estimated number of children who were orphaned from a 2021 report. David Cox’s December 2022 article titled “What will happen to the orphans of COVID-19” is quoted above.
The original place I found Cox’ article was linked from this more recent article from Timothy Pratt for The Guardian about an estimated 245,000 children orphaned by COVID-19 deaths just in the US.
It is horrifying that much of the world has largely decided to abandon not only these children but to create more orphans, and encourage death and long-term health mayhem by abandoning all precautions and prevention. Let it rip is the policy and culture, and the effect is devastating.