Will coronavirus quarantines lead to a baby boom?
With voluntary and mandatory quarantines happening all throughout the United States, people are suddenly finding themselves with a lot of extra time on their hands. And while we all find different ways to use spare time, many couples are using this opportunity to have a little additional fun between the sheets. And if you put two and two together, you can probably see where this is going.
Babies on the Way?
While social distancing is the order of the day, it can be hard to keep your hands to yourself when you’re both locked up in tight quarters. This leads many experts to believe that more time at home with significant others will lead to a massive baby boom.
The hints are all around us – including heightened interest in condoms over the last few weeks in China, where the virus originated.
On March 3, Condomsales.com reported that stores in Singapore and Hong Kong were experiencing significant shortages of condoms. A separate source found that there was a jump in both condom sales and hair clippers. (We’ll let you figure that last one out on your own.)
While there are theories as to why condom sales went up – including one ridiculous notion that some citizens were wearing them on their fingers as protective “gloves” – it’s becoming impossible to ignore the correlation. This becomes even more interesting when you realize that Asia is the number one producer of condom products in the world.
One online betting website has even offered bettors the opportunity to bet on how high the Church & Dwight Co. stock – the parent company of Trojan condoms – will rise during the pandemic.
If you look at historical data from past pandemics and disasters, however, predictions on a future baby boom become less clear.
“Epidemiological data from other times of stress and quarantine, including famines, earthquakes, heat waves, and contagious outbreaks like Ebola and flu, suggests that during events with high community-wide mortality, there is actually a dip in births nine months later,” explains Dr. Jamie Meyer, an infectious disease specialist at Yale School of Medicine.
However, after the traumatic event resolves – 10 to 11 months after the epidemic, birth rates usually begin to rise.
The problem with studying past outbreaks, like Ebola and flu, is that there were never mandatory quarantines and massive layoffs. Most people went on with life as usual. This is different. Almost all couples are at home together – spending days or weeks inside. And many doctors expect the results to reflect these abnormal circumstances.
“It’s probably going to be the biggest baby boom we’ve seen,” Dr. Kevin Kathrotia recently told FOX Business. “Anytime there’s the threat of a hurricane, there’s a little baby boom. …There’s going to be kids in nine months, I can assure you.”
How to Ensure You Don’t Get an Unexpected Surprise
If you and your partner want to get pregnant, then by all means, go ahead! But if you’d rather not, there are some things you can do to ensure you don’t become part of this statistic:
Don’t do it. It’s pretty simple, folks. We don’t need much of an explanation here. If this confuses you, we recommend emailing your middle school sex-ed teacher for clarification.
Get creative. Again, we aren’t going to get into any specifics here, but there are ways to…er…have fun without the risk of pregnancy.
Use contraceptives. Birth control is highly effective and allows you to have all of the physical interaction you’d like. Worried about missing a pill? Try a birth control shot, which covers you for up to 12 weeks at a time.
Find a hobby. The more bored you get, the less restraint you have. Find a hobby to consume some of your time during quarantine. Options include drawing, sewing, graphic design, reading, or puzzles.
Quarantine as individuals. If you aren’t married or living together, it’s probably a good idea to self-quarantine in your own residences. Use this time to strengthen your communication. Physical intimacy can resume in a few weeks.
Use Quarantine Time Wisely
While the circumstances surrounding this quarantine are awful, you don’t have to spend the next few weeks living in a state of doom and gloom. Use this time wisely. Be productive, forge stronger relationships, and check off all of those items that have been on your to-do list for so long.
You can view this as a crisis or an opportunity. Just get clear on whether or not you want babies to be a part of this opportunity.