As you’ve probably heard, the coronavirus is far less dangerous for younger people than it is for elderly folks, but “less danger” isn’t the same as “no danger” and a few cases, children and teenagers have died from COVID-19 complications. According to the CDC, about 0.03 percent of coronavirus cases in people under 21 have been fatal so far — approximately 121 young Americans. And of those, almost all of them have been Black or Hispanic.
There was Christopher Hansen, who lived in the Bronx and was five years old.
17-year-old Jameela Dirrean-Emoni Barber was fretting over an unfinished school assignment when she passed away from complications from the disease.
Kimora Lynum was nine years old, and had no pre-existing conditions that made her more vulnerable to a severe case of the virus.
These are just three of the 35 Black kids who have died from coronavirus complications this year. 54 Hispanic children have also died. Just 17 of the children and teenagers who’ve died from COVID-19 have been white. In other words, while white children make up about 50 percent of kids in the country, they’ve only made up about 14 percent of childhood COVID-19 deaths.
“The data is horrifying, but not surprising to me,” Advancing Health Equity founder Dr. Uché Blackstock told Insider. “Where you see marginalization and disadvantage, you’re going to find coronavirus.”
This data is consistent with the extra risk COVID-19 statistically carries for Black and Hispanic communities in the U.S. There are a number of reasons racial minorities are disproportionately represented among the COVID-19 death toll, including a systemic lack of access to quality health care and the simple fact that adults of color are more likely to be essential workers — meaning they have an increased risk of getting exposed to the virus while at work.
“Not just lack of access to food, but, lack of access to green space, lack of access even to healthcare and regular preventative care that could prevent worsening of these chronic conditions,” Blackstock said. “Children don’t go untouched when we’re talking about marginalization and disadvantage.”