American researchers recently explored the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the overall dynamics of human relations. According to them, the psychological fallout will affect families, working life, relationships and the roles of men and women for years to come.
A particularly dark picture
As part of the work presented in the journal PNAS, a team of experts fromuniversity of california screened more than 90 studies to assess the potential social consequences of the Covid-19. And the picture drawn up is rather gloomy. Researchers predicting in particular the postponement of many marriages, birth rates falling sharply due to a drop in the number of planned pregnancies in the post-pandemic world, and periods of celibacy, especially for independent women, significantly more long.
” Unlike many past crises, this pandemic is not bringing people together “, highlighted Benjamin seitz, lead author of the study. ” With rare exceptions, this does not translate into higher rates of empathy or compassion, and this is particularly noticeable in the United States.. “
” Due to the pandemic, women are spending more time caring for children, and are therefore less available for paid work. This means that many of them will have to rely more on their partners in order to meet their needs, and implies a return of our societies to socially conservative gender norms. », Notes the scientist Martie Haselton, co-author of the study. ” The psychological, social and societal consequences of Covid-19 will be very lasting. The longer the pandemic lasts, the more firmly anchored these will be. “
With the number of marriages falling sharply and the postponement of pregnancies, the populations of some nations will shrink and fall precipitously below the ” replacement threshold », Write the researchers. The latter also point out that the fall in birth rates has cascading effects including slowing economic growth and reduced employment opportunities.
” Studies have shown that women were more stressed by their work and family responsibilities even before the start of the pandemic, knowing that today they are often forced to take care of the care and education of children. », Continues Haselton. ” In medicine and other sciences, women academics are already publishing far less research than a year ago, while men show increased productivity. “
Foreseeing a shift towards social conservatism in the months and years to come, the authors of the study do not hesitate to qualify the pandemic ” global social experience ”, with a virus exploiting our weaknesses by infecting us through contact with people who are dear to us and who seem healthy.
” Our social characteristics, which largely define being human, make us a prime target for viral exploitation “, valued Haselton. ” Measures involving isolation and social distancing profoundly affect our families, our professional lives, our relationships and the roles of men and women in society.. “
Viruses and other infectious agents must evolve to better manipulate their hosts in order to survive and continue to spread. In this case, the SARS-CoV-2 could alter human neural tissue in order to modify our behavior. Several studies have suggested that the virus seemed to suppress the feeling of being sick, and perhaps even strengthen our social impulses during periods of peak transmissibility, occurring before the onset of symptoms.
It is essential to better understand how the SARS-CoV-2 improves its own transmission potential through behavioral and psychological impacts, in order to make the latter less harmful and fatal.