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

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

Disasters sometimes bring people together – pregnancy rates increased slightly after September 11, and after the well documented blackout in New York in 1977, the city experienced a small increase in the birth rate.

But it’s unlikely to happen here, said Tom McCormack, a business economist from Metro Economics in Burlington, Ontario, who assesses recent and future economic and demographic changes in the metropolitan area.

“I think the coup that happened in a very, very old way in 1977 was very, very small. It was barely traceable but that made good news, “said McCormack in an interview.

However, many wonder if additional lockout time will result in a new generation of “coronials” or “baby Zoomers”.

Online hashtags have appeared, including #infectiouslycute and #madeinquarantine, as well as jokes that boom babies should be called “quarn children”.

In fact, McCormack said that with job uncertainty and a travel ban, the population is expected to decline slightly until 2021.

“You are not going to bring as many people to Canada or elsewhere as you normally would, so the population will suffer in the short term,” he said.

McCormack said that given the current health and economic uncertainty, any increase in privacy will be tempered with caution.

“I don’t think in this world right now, people are going to feel too good about involving children, so I wouldn’t expect a big problem,” said McCormack.

“For all the positives that there could be to see more people mating, there will be a deterrent to ensuring that any baby is the result. “

Toronto family lawyer said there isn’t much data on the impact of COVID-19 on the divorce rate, but reports from China indicate a huge increase in the number of couples seeking to separate.

“While it is difficult for me to comment on how this pandemic will affect divorce rates, I can tell you from my experience that stress contributes greatly to the reason for the divorce,” said Laura Paris, associate lawyer at Shulman and Partners.

Paris said even healthy relationships could be strained during the pandemic, and for those who have already had difficulties, the prognosis is not good.

“It’s a recipe for disaster unfortunately. I think it is going to be a big test to sink or swim for a lot of relationships it will force you to have to solve these problems and find a solution or it will be the beginning of the end. “

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

According to a recent study by the Vanier Institute of the Family, the Association for Canadian Studies and Leger, nearly 8 out of 10 people aged 18 and over say that they and their spouse have supported themselves well since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Only a small minority indicate that discussions between them have increased, having been in close contact for longer periods due to social estrangement and self-isolation.

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

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

“If you had something to start with, that brought you closer, that put you in touch, that you could keep doing, then everything will be fine,” she said.

“But if your relationship had gotten to the point where it is” 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 do very well. “

This Canadian Press report was first published on April 19, 2020

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