As one wit put it recently, after the COVID-19 lockdowns, we can expect to see a spike in pregnancies (the Coronavirus boomers), divorces or mysterious disappearances.
As for divorces, there are many things to be learned from the China Model (as more and more countries are finding out). But one unexpected – or should it be expected? – outcome is a skyrocketting of divorce applications after the lockdown eases. Since China has managed to contain the COVID-19 epidemic through stringent and effective measures, they are now beginning to return to normal life. My friends tell me that the streets are full, as are the shops and restaurants. Schools and universities too will soon reopen.
At the same time, divorce applications have skyrocketted. As this article from China Daily observes, offices in major cities have been overwhelmed with such applications. Some point out that there is always a spike after Spring Festival (Chinese New Year), which may be compared to the spike after Christmas in countries with a Christian tradition. But the current spike is unprecedented. Local officials in Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi province, have implored couples to talk through their differences and think twice.
Obviously, living at close quarters for weeks on end, with children (if you have them) taking online courses, perhaps a parent or two also in the same space, all the while trying to work from home and manage exercise, ordering food deliveries and so on will take their toll on any relationship.
So overwhelming are the numer of applications in some parts that couples have to wait up to two months for their application to be processed. This may not be such a bad situation, since it may encourage some to sort out their differences. The article also points out that many couples have drawn closer together, especially medical workers who faced the danger of death on a daily basis, as well as couples who previously did not have much time together due to busy work schedules, often in different parts of the country. Many of them will of course be responsible for the Coronavirus boomers.