Will coronavirus cause more babies or more divorces?

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

“You can’t spell divorce without COVID” some Twitter wags are pointing out.

Or, will a spike in coronavirus cases lead to a spike in births nine months later?

We’ve seen stories supporting either prediction.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported a spike in applications for divorce in the Chinese city of Xi’an, where are thousands of couples are quarantined, and lawyers predict a similar phenomenon elsewhere in the world.

A British lawyer noted that divorce business picks up after Christmas and summer holidays when couples spend long periods together, and it’s only logical that the current, unprecedented situation will have the same results.

Experts also worry about an increase in domestic violence cases, and isolated victims may have limited access to help.

Even couples in non-abusive relationships suffer from the effects of anxiety, financial insecurity and a lack of social connection, even if they’re not compounded by medical challenges.

But as Fox Business pointed out, doctors often see baby booms after natural disasters and sports teams wins, and some of them say we should prepare for a coronavirus baby boom.

With no choice but to stay away from bars and restaurants, many millennials are opting to “Netflix and chill” -- watch for a spike in births this December, Dr. Kevin Kathrotia of Millennium Neonatology told Fox.

Kathrotia said small baby booms often follow the threat of a hurricane. “Everyone’s at home," he continued. "Those already with kids are less likely to have a kid, but those married without kids — there’s going to be kids in nine months, I can assure you."

Perhaps couples might prefer to implement a limited amount of “social distancing” with their spouse to avoid either extreme.

There’s not yet a ban on getting out and enjoying the warm weather we’re enjoying this week, and a little alone time might be just what the doctor ordered.

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