BEYOND: Relationships during the COVID-19 Pandemic

BEYOND: Relationships during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has lasted for over a year now, have been quite strange. Couples have broken up during quarantine, and couples have formed during quarantine. The many consequences of the pandemic have resulted in long-time couples going their separate ways, all because of a virus. But it is not all negative, as there have been relationships that have strengthened during all the time spent together at home.

One of the problems couples faced was the ability to see one another if they did not live with each other when the lockdowns started. They were forced to choose whether or not to risk traveling to see their significant other, possibly contracting and spreading the virus to the people they love. Or they had the option to spend time over Zoom like everyone else, lacking the intimacy of seeing each other face-to-face. Over the year, Zoom saw a 169 percent increase in profits to $328 million, which shows how important Zoom has been in the lives of those living through the pandemic.

Though many relationships have ended during the pandemic, the divorce rate has actually decreased due to the sheer cost incurred during tough financial times. Since many schools are still doing online class through Zoom or other video services, children are at home more than ever, resulting in the necessity for parents to be there to watch over them. With many daycare centers closed due to coronavirus concerns, parents have felt the obligation to stay together in order to maintain the family unit and spend more time with their children.

On the opposite side of divorces, new marriages have seen a decrease during the lockdown due to financial concerns and the inability to have medium-to-large in-person weddings. Because of the restrictions put in place by states and municipalities, couples have had to postpone their weddings to later dates, sometimes even years down the line, due in part to the uncertainty of what normalcy will look like in six months. Though COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the number of marriages occurring, the marriage rate in the United States has already decreased steadily this past decade due to changing ideals in which marriage is not seen as the only option.

Relationships are not only about divorces and marriage but rather the connection between friends or loved ones. Many families lost relatives and were not unable to spend the final moments with them for the protection of the people around them. That is one of the hardest experiences a person must endure, which makes it even more important to talk routinely with loved ones. Especially in the era of COVID-19, it is uncertain what will happen next, and tomorrow is not a guarantee. Maintain connection as much as possible.