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A Hidden Pandemic

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The British medical journal The Lancet recently reported that, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, “1.5 million children around the globe have lost a parent, guardian or grandparent who helped care for them” (The Hill, July 21, 2021). The study authors note, “Orphanhood and caregiver deaths are a hidden pandemic resulting from COVID-19 associated deaths.” According to the study, one child is left behind for every two COVID-19 deaths, because one or more of their caregivers is gone. Sadly, this situation is not unlike that of the “AIDS orphans” who suffer around the globe.

While media reports often focus on the economic impact and deaths of the pandemic, the faces of young, suffering children are often overlooked. Yet, the Bible stresses the importance of taking care of orphans: “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27). Humanity should be moved by the suffering we see around us and earnestly cry out for Christ’s return and the end of suffering. Though the coming Great Tribulation will result in even more orphans, Bible prophecies describe a very encouraging future to follow. The vision of Isaiah depicts children in that future being cared for by the mighty—suffering and neglected no longer (Isaiah 49:22–23).

Today, the world is full of suffering for many people, including children. When Jesus Christ returns, the government of God will put an end to sorrow for all. To learn more about this wonderful soon-coming time, be sure to read or listen to The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like?