Love in the time of COVID, Macleans.ca

Love in the time of COVID

Our editorial: Most thought that there would be a baby boom as well as a spike in divorces after the Great Lockdown of 2020. Neither of those predictions seem to…

Our editorial: Most thought that there would be a baby boom as well as a spike in divorces after the Great Lockdown of 2020. Neither of those predictions seem to be coming true. At the onset of the Great Lockdown, two of the most frequent and eagerly shared predictions were that there would be a boom in babies nine months hence, and that we’d soon be witnessing a spike in divorces as well. Everyone, it seemed, figured rules requiring romantic partners to stay isolated with each other were going to have a big impact on relationships, and the country at large. Now, with restrictions relaxing, it appears neither of those two popular predictions are preordained. Snowstorms and blackouts may offer enticing opportunities for baby-making, but there’s substantial evidence that lengthy economic downturns or public health crises beget the opposite reaction, as families retrench in the face of mighty challenges. The Brookings Institution has observed the American birth rate fell sharply during the Great Recession of 2008 and the flu epidemic of 1918. Our current situation combines the worst of both events. As for divorce, while the six-month trend in Finland shows divorce rates are dropping, initial reports that Wuhan, China—ground zero for COVID-19—was swamped with divorce applications once the lockdown was partially lifte

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