(To be clear: COVID-19 has not been a joke, 500,000 lives were lost and it’s left a devastating impact on our society.)

A year ago, there were innumerable jokes about time in lockdown…whether or not we were all about 6 weeks away from knowing everyone’s natural hair color, whether or not we’d all get our Marie Kondo on and organize ALL the closets, and most of all – whether or not there would be a ton of kids born around Thanksgiving.

Or as I like to imagine: Gen-Covid.

And then a month of lockdown turned into two months…and then things weren’t quite so “oh, this is a fun adventure of staying home and not wearing pants and having lots of sex and making babies.”

Thusfar, it doesn’t look like there are lots of COVID babies.

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And I wonder – are people waiting? Will there be a surge? Tons of new parents sexually expressing their relief at FINALLY getting out from under quarantine times?

According to some new, interesting research, we have some time before those COVID babies roll in. This isn’t exactly 1957 (the peak of the boomer births). We have less social pressure to create Donna Reed-land with the perfect nuclear family. Those who are enthusiastic to go through the long process of planned births (adoptions, surrogacy, IVF) have probably postponed until everything feels better. There’s also more planning and birth control than yesteryear and while we feel more optimistic about the future than we did a year ago, this still isn’t post-war 1950’s “everything is possible” U.S. of A. Many millennials and GenZ’ers are making non-parenthood a moral and ecological choice.

Everything is uncertain and the pandemic made that ever more obvious.

Still…when the COVID babies are born and we have a surge in baby showers, infernal gender reveal parties (just…don’t) and even more need for baby shower gifts like breast pumps and the best and coolest diaper bag for dads, I wonder how these kids will be categorized? Moreover – how we will screw them up.

I wonder:
  • Will they be hoarders of toilet paper cuz their parents taught them “you never know when Target will run out of toilet paper?”
  • Will they all be encouraged to be financiers because a life in the arts will evaporate with the next pandemic?
  • Will they be anti-vaccers or “bring-them-on” vacco-philes?
  • Will one of their first words be “pandemic”?
  • Seriously, what will be the “Okay, Boomer” for Gen-Covid?
  • Will they roll their eyes at their parents every time they hear a story begin, “You know, back in 2020…”
  • How many will be named variations of Covid, Corona or Pandemic?
  • Will they be neglected because their parents are glued to TikTok all the livelong day?
  • Will they grow up shaking hands or doing the French bise? Or will they be raised never to touch again?
  • Will these kids be raised in social or antisocial manners?
  • Will they go to movie theatres or just Netflix ‘n chill?
  • Will their personal boundaries be much wider than pre-2021 social standards?
  • Most of all, will new parents for the next five years absorb COVID times and maintain their socially-distanced lives, or will they rebound the other direction and throw all caution and separation to the wind?
  • Will Gen-Covid be raised as highly tactile, uber-social, highly-consumptive kids brought up to eat out and never cook at home?

Sigh. “Okay, Boomer” for Gen-Covid. I can feel the eye rolls, now.

There are so many unseen consequences of this past year; so many ways we will adjust our paradigms and attitudes. But the deep psychological ways new parents will project their pandemic experience onto their kids will be fascinating to study in the “after-times.” It goes beyond a mere, “Okay, Boomer” for Gen-Covid.

Gavin Lodge is a father, writer, pandemic survivor and founder of ECKnox making baby gear for stylish dads, particularly the coolest diaper bags for dads. Feel free to follow the gear and the missives on Insta and the like. ECKnox is expanding beyond just the best diaper bags for dads. Stay tuned.