Children of color have been the most impacted by this compounded trauma of the pandemic: a study co-led by Harvard professor of pediatrics Charles Nelson found that about one in four children who’ve lost a primary caregiver are Black.

Nelson and his 15 coauthors of the Global Reference Group on Children Affected by COVID-19, were the first to call attention to this new group, and coined the term Covid orphans. Similar to when children became orphaned during the AIDS epidemic, the title is born out of the need to classify those dependents who lost one or both parents and suddenly find themselves without someone to provide the basics children need to thrive daily: security, food, shelter, and love. Florida, where Tré and his sisters have lived since they permanently migrated from the Bahamas in 2007, has nearly 8,000 children who have lost a primary caregiver to Covid—the third-highest number nationally, behind California and Texas.

That number is now rising at a faster rate, Nelson says, while local and federal governments remain largely mum on the issue. “Most of us, since March of 2020, have been obsessed with people getting sick and people dying,” he says, “but the hidden cost of the pandemic that no one was really thinking about is the sheer number of kids who have lost parents or grandparents or primary caregivers.”

Read the full article about trauma of the pandemic by Rita Omokha at The Hechinger Report.