COVID-19 Baby Boom. Are we Going to Witness a New Demographic Leap in 2021?
The Pandemic of COVID-19 has influenced all aspects of our life. The Lockdown has forced millions of people to stay at home and re-discover relationships with their partners and family members. Almost as soon as it has started, demographic researchers started to predict a baby-boom at the beginning of 2021 that might only be compared to the one that took place in the middle of the XX century. Although, now those predictions are becoming much more critical. Let`s try to understand if the winter of 2021 will bring us a new generation of Boomers?
Why do we Expect a Dramatic Increase in Childbirth?
The simplest explanation that might come in mind is that being locked in their own houses people just won`t have anything better to do than having sex. On the one hand, it looks quite logical. Watching Netflix, reading books, and surfing social media is fun for a while, but eventually, you simply get bored from it. On the other hand, being temporarily released from everyday stress and rush, people start to reinvent their relationships with each other. Many couples took the Lockdown as a chance to take a closer look at their relationships, spend time together with no other disturbances. Those are the lucky ones who got their unplanned honeymoon.
But putting the romantic aspect aside, there is a dry and logical evolutionary explanation of post-Coronavirus baby-boom possibility. Just like all mammals, humans have a reproduction instinct. And this instinct sharpens dramatically in the face of danger. Humans feel the need to reproduce to prevent the extinction of the species. That is the way scientists have explained the great Baby Boom that has followed WWII. Humanity has not faced such a global Pandemic as we witness now for a long time. That is why the sense of endangering nowadays may be compared to the one caused by wars and natural disasters. Mainly that is the reason why in March-April 2020 the Media was full of predictions about possible raise of childbirth at the beginning of 2021.
What is Happening?
The research conducted by the Kinsey Institute of Indiana University shows that the real picture might be quite different from those predictions. According to the received data, people tended to have much less sex during the lockdown than usual. Most respondents explain it with a constant sense of insecurity a worry caused by the ongoing situation. The social aspect of lockdown and its influence on the economy has played a fatal role in the sexual lives of Americans. Of course, the disease itself appeared to be the main source of worries nowadays. But the ongoing collapse of the economy and the growing unemployment rate has also influenced the decisions about having kids greatly. At least 20% of people who took part in the research claim that long-term planning seems impossible to even in the post-Coronavirus society. Many small businesses had to close and go off the market at all. Most of those – irrevocably. The feeling of uncertainty caused by it fears people even more than the Pandemic itself. At the same time, many understand that the healthcare system is going through a severe crisis nowadays and demands restoration. The burden that a new Baby Boom might put on it simply looks like an irresponsible act nowadays.
Baby Booms have happened several times during human history. Most of them were provoked by severe events like wars, disasters, and pandemics. But society evolves. A modern person has more stress factors that influence such life-turning decisions like childbirth. We still don`t have a full understanding of the post-Coronavirus world that our children will live in. All we know for sure is that it will be different and the children that are born now might be the forefathers of a whole-new society.