CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship October 23, 2020


October 23, 2020

COVID-19 Hardship

October 23, 2020

The 3 million kids are missing edition. The coronavirus pandemic has not hit everyone equally. We know that Latinx and Black households are most adversely affected, both in the workplace and in susceptibility to COVID-19. Women, too, have been hit hard, the pandemic’s effects exacerbated by their familiar role as primary caregivers as well as their over-representation in the decimated service industries. But there is a whole other population at risk – children and young people. This week, a groundbreaking study was released that estimates 3 million of the most educationally marginalized children have not seen the inside of a classroom – virtual or in-person – since last March, when most schools shut down. Many of these 3 million are kids with disabilities, English learners, students in foster care, migrant students, and homeless students. Some come from low-income households. Why are these students not attending school? The reasons are complicated and varied, but for many, it is as simple a matter of not having a computer or internet access at home. 

And it is not just K-12.  College freshman enrollment is down 16% this fall at U.S. colleges and universities. At community colleges, which tend to attract more low-income and people of color students, it is down nearly 25%, alarming education experts who warn that many students may never end up enrolling. The effect that would have on their future earning capacity is hard to imagine. Meanwhile, millions upon millions of K-12 and college students alike face food insecurity, dwindling health coverage, and housing instability, all problems fueled by the pandemic and accompanying recession. 

As of this writing, prospects for quick passage of robust COVID-19 relief appear slim to none. However, it is incumbent upon all of us to keep telling our Senators to do their jobs. Senators particularly in the states of Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah need to hear from you! Scroll down to see sample tweets that you can send to these senators.


8.4 million/ 223,000


The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S.




The average number of U.S. COVID-19 cases per day, over the past week. Caseloads are up 33 percent over the average two weeks earlier, as the U.S. experiences its third surge of the pandemic.


Nearly 300,000


This many more people died in the U.S. between February and September than would normally be expected in a normal year. The CDC estimates that at least two-thirds of these are due to COVID-19.  The largest number of excess deaths are among Latinx and people aged 25-44.


About 3 million 


For approximately 3 million of the most educationally marginalized children in the country, March might have been the last time they experienced any formal education – virtual or in person.


Nearly 70%


Women make up nearly 70% of front-line health care workers and have a higher risk of being infected with COVID-19, according to a new U.N. report. The report, with data from 38 countries and territories, found that men make up more than 60% of deaths from COVID among those aged 20-80.


4 in 10


An estimated 42% of children live in households that reported it was somewhat or very difficult to cover expenses such as food, rent or mortgage, car payments, medical expenses, or student loans.




Some 9 to 15% of adults with children reported that their children didn’t eat enough in the previous 7 days because they couldn’t afford it. Black and Latinx adults were more than twice as likely as white adults to report their households didn’t get enough to eat.


Nearly 1 in 6


The number of adult renters who reported that their household was not caught up in rent. This included 26% of Black, 20% of Asian, and 19% of Latinx renters, compared to 11% of white renters.


1.1 million


People making unemployment claims for the week ending October 17 (including regular state UI and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which covers self-employed or gig workers and will expire at the end of December). While down nearly 47,000 from the week before, it is still a very big number.


7 in 10


The number of voters, including more than half of Republicans, who want to see passage of a new, $2 trillion stimulus program that includes more help for the unemployed as well as stimulus checks for most Americans and financial support for state and local governments, according to a New York Times/Siena poll published this week.



Tweet to key Senators: it’s very important that Senators hear our concern, click links below to tweet:

Example tweet message and accompanying graphic to Senator Collins of Maine:

.@SenatorCollins, #DoYourJob and pass a robust #COVIDRelief package NOW. Families are still facing many hardships. The people cannot wait any longer. 63,000 adults in Maine are not having enough to eat- that’s 7% of all ME adults (@uscensusbureau)

Click the link below to send a similar tweet to:

AK: Senator Murkowski, Senator Sullivan

AZ: Senator McSally

CO: Senator Gardner

FL: Senator Rubio, Senator Scott

GA: Senator Perdue, Senator Loeffler

IA: Senator Ernst, Senator Grassley

KY: Senator McConnell

KS: Senator Moran

LA: Senator Cassidy, Senator Kennedy

ME: Senator Collins

MO: Senator Blunt, Senator Hawley

MT: Senator Daines

NC: Senator Tillis

OH: Senator Portman

SC: Senator Graham

TN: Senator Alexander

UT: Senator Romney