October 14, 2021
Current COVID-19 Response Plan Level 3
Two things of note this week. First, the New York Times reported that between April 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021 more than 120,000 children in the United States had a parent or caregiver die from COVID-19, a loss that more severely affected racial minorities. A study in the medical journal Pediatrics estimated that for every four COVID-19 deaths, one child lost a parent or caregiver. The finding suggested that the ongoing pandemic, which has claimed more than 700,000 American lives thus far, could leave tens of thousands of children dealing with trauma for generations to come.
Cheyenne River has been fortunate to have a relatively small number of deaths, but the impact of grief and loss on Indigenous communities and communities of color, who already deal with generational trauma, will be an important factor for the next generation.
Also of note is some older reporting from March that the United States, on average, suffered 21% more deaths than usual from March 2020 to February 2021. The numbers in South Dakota were as high as 120% above normal in November 2020. With the highly-contagious Delta variant not yet under control, vigilance and safety be important heading into the Fall.
Correction: Last week we inaccurately reported that both Pfizer and Moderna are approved for a third booster shot. In fact, Moderna presented to the FDA for approval on October 12 and the FDA will discuss on October 14. While the FDA declined to take an official stance on the Pfizer booster, the agency’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee recommends third shots.