The Atlantic has an article about a pressing pandemic problem with orphaned children.
Losing a parent may be one of the most destabilizing events of the human experience. Orphans are at increased risk of substance abuse, dropping out of school, and poverty. They are almost twice as likely as non-orphans to die by suicide, and they remain more susceptible to almost every major cause of death for the rest of their life.
Because of the pandemic, some 200,000 American children now face these stark odds. Even after two years that have inured the country to the carnage of the coronavirus, the scope of the loss is so staggering that it can be hard to comprehend: Caregiver loss during the pandemic is now responsible for one out of every 12 orphans under the age of 18, and in every public school in the United States, on average two children have lost a caregiver to the pandemic. COVID-19 case counts rise and fall, but “orphanhood doesn’t come and go. It is a steadily rising slope, and the summit is still out of sight,” Susan Hillis, the co-chair of the Global Reference Group on Children Affected by COVID-19, told me. “It’s not like you’re an orphan today and then you’re recovered in two weeks.”
California State Senator Nancy Skinner introduced a bill to set up trust funds of $4,000 to $8,000 for each of the state’s more than 20,000 pandemic orphans.