(Peakpx.com)

(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

Just Posted

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

RCMP responded to a report early Friday morning of a suspect firing a gun at a Salmo home. Photo: Black Press
RCMP arrest woman who fired shots at Salmo home

The woman allegedly discharged a firearm early Friday morning

Summit Ski Hill had a delayed start to the season because of warm temperatures. Photo: Summit Ski Hill
Late season start frustrating for Nakusp ski hill

Summit Ski Hill only just opened Jan. 14

Four friends were heading to their home on Highway 6 just south of Silverton on the evening of Dec. 25, 2020, when the people in the front of the vehicle saw what looked like a “huge, man-like figure” on the side of the road. (Pixabay.com)
Possible Bigfoot sighting shocks, excites Silverton residents

‘I didn’t see the creature myself, I saw the prints’

Police were called after a man was witnessed stabbing tires with the fence post. Photo: Thanh Serious on Unsplash
Trail RCMP eport erratic man, suspicious fire and prohibited driver

Brief from the media release from the Trail and Greater District RCMP detachment

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

A COVID-19 outbreak at Vernon's Heritage Square long-term care home has claimed seven people. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Two more COVID-19 deaths at Vernon care home

Heritage Square has now lost seven people due to the outbreak

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Andre Robert won $500,000 through a Lotto Extra ticket on Dec. 23, 2020. Photo: Jeanne d’Arc Allard
Creston resident wins $500k through Lotto ticket

“I was surprised. I wasn’t sure if it was true or not.”

Most Read