(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

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

Kieran Christison, manager of Daybreak Farms in Terrace inspects eggs on Oct. 30, 2020. Christison wants to transition to a zero waste, cage-free facility. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Daybreak Farms aiming to achieve zero-waste, cage-free facility

Kieran Christison, manager, presented the farm’s future plans to Terrace city council

Mercedes Trigo, assistant manager, said that Trigo’s Lifestyle Store in Terrace has experienced four broken windows and an attempted break-in recently, leaving her feeling unsupported by bystanders and the police. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)
Trigo’s management frustrated by property damage, theft

In a little over a month there have been four broken windows and an attempted break-in at the store

Two RCMP officers have been recognized for their actions in responding to an incident involving a man with a weapon at 4501 Park Ave. on the afternoon of April 27, 2020. RCMP say it was an isolated incident and there is no danger to the general public. (Jake Wray photo)
Terrace RCMP officers recognized for acts of bravery

Two involved in arrest of armed suspect

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Most Read