Divorce Blog

Impact on Families From COVID is Widespread

By Daryl Maksymec

The world has been feeling the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no corner of the globe left untouched by this dangerous disease. Here in Canada, the impact on families, in particular, has been felt since the first major outbreaks.

In modern history, pandemics have happened before, but not in a few hundred years, and it is taking us all by storm. People are forced to quarantine in their homes and make the most of being shut-ins.

We all know of the impacts felt by businesses across the globe. Closures and layoffs have become the norm, leaving millions to figure out how to pay their bills. But those impacts have been felt by families forced to quarantine for extended periods of time.

There are many different ways that families, married or divorced, have felt the change. Here are some of the most pronounced ways in which married couples, families, and divorcees have felt the strain of COVID’s seemingly endless reach.

Greater Stress is Perhaps the Largest COVID Impact on Families

Stress for just about everyone is higher than ever before. Even if you ignore everything else going on, getting sick is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. It is not something we had to be particularly concerned with in the past on this level.

But now, people have been forced to quarantine in their homes. Depending on what area you live in, that order includes everything but trips for the essentials like groceries. Those who are allowed to go out within their areas are required to wear masks at all times. Things have changed and, even a year later, feel completely different than life as we know it.

Being quarantined is hard enough. Millions worldwide, not just in Canada, are feeling the financial impact. People have had their hours cut. They have been furloughed or laid off outright. So many have had their worlds turned upside down by a pandemic that few saw coming.

The COVID Impact on Families and Home Life

It is safe to say that the vast majority of us are not used to spending this much time with one another. Even the best and most well-connected families spend time apart from one another. They enjoy hobbies separate from the rest of the family.

With mandatory quarantines, family members have had to find new ways to pass the time. Frustrated parents cite children that spend more time playing video games than ever before. Those same kids are also staying up far later than normal, even though class is still in session (virtually, at least).

COVID has made it difficult for families who have to spend so much time together. Members of the family no doubt run into one another far more frequently than any are used to. That can lead to increased tension, stress, and conflict.

remote learning boyThe Change to Education

Though it can be easy to focus on everything that is happening to our finances, children have felt the impact just as harshly. No longer can they go hang out with friends, even in most public spaces. Being quarantined, sequestered into a small space, has perhaps been most difficult for them.

COVID has also changed the way that many schools educate. Because of the ban on public gatherings in many places, schools have been forced to move to remote classrooms. There have been many growing pains along the way, though some are becoming acclimated to that way of life.

Still, it is a challenge for children. Paying attention with easy access to all the things that entertain them – video games, smartphones, even the computer that they use for school – is a challenge in and of itself.

Educators and parents alike are faced with the challenge of how to educate their children effectively. There is an assumption that things will “go back to normal,” but what if this is the new normal? After all, there are benefits to remote workplaces and classrooms.

The educational impact is felt by parents as well. It can be difficult enough getting kids to do their homework. When they don’t have to leave the comforts of their home, it can be even more difficult to keep them on track. Getting them to pay attention during class or to do their assignments seems especially difficult.

The COVID Impact on Families is Putting Marriages to the Test

At the top of the familial chain, parents feel the impact in a lot of different ways. There are those outlined above. There are also the challenges that face relationships in times of crisis. Putting two people within the same refined space has caused many relationships to dissolve since the outbreak began.

Couples are forced to hang around one another more often than they are used to. Even those who went to work are now home, working remotely. There is no time away from our significant others, and that is degrading relationships at an accelerated pace.

The number of divorces skyrocketed in 2020 and may not slow down as we try to return to “normal” life. Even those who have not begun the divorce process may have it in mind based on what has happened throughout this pandemic.

What Does the Future Hold?

What is ahead for families, particularly couples, as we move through 2021? Those who have already decided to move forward will do so in a new world. But the couples who are still working on things likely have a lot of questions.

COVID has had a tremendous impact on the way that we live our lives. It has been stressful and scary, filled with uncertainty and more questions than answers. Whether there are further impacts on families to be felt from COVID remains to be seen. We can all only do one thing: learn from the experiences of each day, attempting to apply the lessons from within.