Tracking the reach of COVID-19 kin loss

From the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

“Tracking the reach of COVID-19 kin loss with a bereavement multiplier applied to the United States”

Ashton M. Verdery, Emily Smith-Greenaway, Rachel Margolis, and Jonathan Daw
PNAS July 28, 2020 117 (30) 17695-17701; first published July 10, 2020 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2007476117
Edited by Douglas S. Massey, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, and approved June 19, 2020 (received for review April 18, 2020)

COVID-19 has created a mortality shock throughout the world, and it may yield a second wave of population health concerns tied to bereavement and social support reductions. We created the COVID-19 bereavement multiplier, an indicator that clarifies one downstream impact of COVID-19 mortality and can be applied to different epidemiological projections of death counts: How many people are at risk for losing a grandparent, parent, sibling, spouse, or child for each COVID-19 death. In the United States, we estimate that on average, under diverse epidemiological circumstances, every death from COVID-19 will leave approximately nine bereaved. Studying how acute mortality crises reverberate through a population in the form of bereavement multipliers expands understandings of the social impacts of health crises.

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COVID-19, National Academy of Sciences PNAS, Research