DIVORCE AND CORONAVIRUS: Is there a real risk of a spike in divorce rates?

Coronavirus fears are permeating our global and collective consciousness. Everyone is petrified, many are in outright panic and nobody can find toilet paper at the supermarket. Not to mention to death toll worldwide and the added stress of mandated isolation that has come with it.

Now people are saying that it could also spike the divorce rates around the world. Do you believe this to be likely? Or is it all sensationalism? I think it is a bit of sensationalism. Sure, the coronavirus is deadly and virulent and frightening. But the idea that its mere existence will “spike the divorce rates” around the world without more, seems like hyperbole to me.

One of the reasons the alarmist site for this strange causal argument is that as more and more people self isolate, divorce will be the result. First of all, it is unclear that people living in the same household are self-isolating from each other. Unless their houses are the size of Kim and Kanye’s Los Angeles pad, it seems unlikely if not impossible that the average person’s home is that immense that they could isolate themselves from each other for weeks.

But even assuming the couple and family have enough space to self isolate in order to avoid spreading the virus, this does not seem to be a rational basis for a divorce without proof that the marriage was already on the rocks – in which case, can we really blame the coronavirus? Is it really proof of causation that the fact that the couple divorces during or around the time of the virus that it is because of the virus? I respecfully decline to think so.

It seems the opposite result would happen, actually. If the coronavirus sickens a part of a couple, the other party is more likely to become a caregiver unwittingly, perhaps, but this seems more likely to draw them back together and to result in forgiveness and mind changes about a divorce when people see that it has come down to a matter of life and death. Rather than result in more divorces, it seems to me that the corona virus will result in more marriages being saved. But then again, maybe I am just being overly optimistic. What do you think about this?