The odds of a second wave of COVID-19 suggest there will be plenty of divorces in the near future.
The issues faced by couples throughout the pandemic have been widely reported. Increased friction between partners, isolation from family and friends, and a stressful environment have contributed to tensions, causing many couples to consider the counsel of mental health experts or find ways to end their relationships altogether.
As the pandemic progresses and we learn more about the virus, the odds of a second wave of COVID-19 are becoming more likely. So is the stress that this produces, as well as the uncertainty of longterm emotional, physical and economic stability.
Countries like China, which encountered the virus earlier on in the year, have experienced rising rates of divorce after the first wave of COVID-19. Western countries like the U.S., which have divorce rates as high as 50%, are expected to experience an even more pronounced rise in divorces, according to Psychology Today.
This kind of familial stress causes ripples across all sorts of statistics. Data shows that this year there have been rising numbers of domestic abuse reports, stress and depression, all of which will likely translate into lower birth rates and more mental health issues post pandemic.
If a second wave of the virus were to hit, many couples, especially those who’ve already been experiencing difficulties during the first lockdown, are at higher risk for experiencing even more stress.
When lockdown first started, experts advised couples to avoid making any rash decisions, explaining that quarantine life is not an equivalent to real life, and that it’s unfair to judge a partnership when viewed under this set of constrictions. Still, as time passes and couples who used work, gym time and travel as ways of decompressing, these people will continue to struggle with their partners; the pandemic has made it impossible to ignore the lingering issues that plague them.
When it comes to facing a second wave, it appears that singles have an advantage over couples. Those who have experienced loneliness during the first lockdown might be more mentally equipped to face a second. Couples who’ve managed to keep their relationships afloat for the past couple of months might find continued social distancing guidelines much more demanding.