COVID Deaths Have 1.2 Million Americans Grieving

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY July 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) – Each death from COVID-19 in the United States leaves an average of nine close family members to cry, the researchers say.

With more than 137,000 deaths so far in the pandemic, this means that about 1.2 million Americans have lost a grandparent, parent, brother or sister, spouse, child or another. close relative.

“In just a few months, more than a million Americans have suffered irreplaceable loss that not only leaves them grieving and possibly traumatized, but can have lasting health and economic consequences for themselves and for others. family members, “study co-author Emily Smith-Greenaway said in a press release from the University of Southern California. She is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Space Science at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

Lead author Ashton Verdery predicted that the impact on families will be long-lasting.

“Our results show that these impacts will be substantial, that they will affect people of all ages and that they can exacerbate existing inequalities in grief and social support,” said Verdery, associate professor of sociology, demography and of social data analysis at Penn State. University.

Some people experience serious, long-term mental health issues after a death in the family, including major depression and anxiety. Grief can also lead to physical health problems, the researchers noted.

The risk is higher when a family member dies unexpectedly, as is common during the pandemic.

“In the news cycle, the focus is on tracking the total number of lives lost, but what’s missing is how these untimely deaths are reflected in family systems,” said Smith-Greenaway. “What about the many loved ones left behind?”

The study was recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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SOURCE: University of Southern California, press release, July 13, 2020

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