(Peakpx.com)

Is COVID-19 baby boom a myth? How relationships might be tested during the pandemic

Online hashtags have cropped up including #infectiouslycute and #madeinquarantine

As Canadians face the possibility of being alone with their significant other for the foreseeable future, some say marital discord is more likely than the kind of intimacy that would lead to a baby boom nine months from now.

Disaster sometimes brings people closer together — pregnancy rates were up slightly following 9/11, and after the well documented power blackout in New York in 1977 the city experienced a small surge in the birthrate.

But that’s unlikely to happen here, says Tom McCormack, a business economist from Metro Economics in Burlington, Ont., who assesses recent and future metropolitan area economic and demographic change.

“I think the blip that did occur way, way, way back in 1977 was a very, very small one. It was barely traceable but it made a good news story,” McCormack said in an interview.

READ MORE: Summer events, parades, large weddings off the table this summer: Henry

Still, many are wondering if extra time in lockdown with will lead to a new generation of “coronials” or ”baby Zoomers.”

Online hashtags have cropped up including #infectiouslycute and #madeinquarantine, as well as jokes that boom babies should known as “children of the quarn.”

In fact, McCormack said with the uncertainty over jobs and a ban on travel, the population is likely to drop slightly until 2021.

“You’re not going to get as many people moving to Canada or moving anywhere as you normally would, so the population’s going to suffer in the short term,” he said.

McCormack said given the current uncertainty about health and the economy, any increased intimacy will be tempered with caution.

“I don’t think in this world right now people are going to be feeling too good about bringing kids into it, so I wouldn’t expect a huge blip,” said McCormack.

“For any positives there might be towards seeing more people who are mating, there will be a disincentive to make sure that any baby is the result.”

A Toronto family lawyer said there isn’t a lot of data about what impact COVID-19 will have on the divorce rate but information out of China indicates a huge jump in the number of couples seeking to separate.

“While it’s hard for me to comment on how this pandemic will affect divorce rates, I can tell you from my experience that stress is a major contributor to why people get divorced,” said Laura Paris, associate lawyer at Shulman and Partners.

COMMENTARY: COVID-19 modelling useful, but not a crystal ball

Paris said even healthy relationships might be strained during the pandemic, and for those who have already been having difficulties the prognosis isn’t good.

“It’s a recipe for disaster unfortunately. I think it’s going to be a big test of sink or swim for a lot of relationships that either it’s going to force you to have to work through these issues and find a solution or it’s going to be the beginning of the end.”

On the other hand, concerns about the economy might force people to stay together for financial reasons.

According to a recent study from the Vanier Institute of the Family, the Association for Canadian Studies and Leger, nearly 8 in 10 people aged 18 or older say they and their spouse are supporting one another well since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Only a small minority indicate that arguing between them has increased, having been in close contact for longer periods as a result of social distancing and self-isolation.

A Calgary psychologist and counsellor said couples who have a lot in common and have traditionally done things together should survive with their relationships intact.

But Joanne Ginter, from Sundancer Psychological Services, said others will face challenges.

“If you had something to begin with, that drew you together, that made you connected, that you could keep doing then you will probably be okay,” she said.

“But if your relationship had gone to the point where it’s ‘God, we’re going to work so we can get away from each other and now they’re stuck in the house,’ I don’t think people are probably going to cope very well.”

READ MORE: B.C. police can now issue $2,000 tickets for reselling medical supplies, price gouging

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusRelationships

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Thursday’s blackout likely caused by vandalism

Power was out for 10,000 customers from Quick to the Hazeltons for almost 11 hours

VIDEO: Witset cannabis shop officially opens

The store, located at the gas bar on Hwy 16, is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Police investigate July 2 homicide in Houston

Man succumbed to injuries at Pearson Road residence

Tahltan fighter from Telkwa wins provincial award

Lando Ball recognized for his commitment to and accomplishments in karate and for community service

RCMP patrol of smokehouse sparks concerns by Wet’suwet’en hereditary leader

Hereditary Chief Woos says he is feeling uneasy after RCMP attended the smokehouse with rifles

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Most Read