How COVID-19 is impacting relationships

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While some are predicting a baby boom nine months from now as so many couples spend time together at home, there are also some grim statistics about quarantine quarrels and how they could impact young relationships.

A new survey has some eye opening data about health and behavior during the crisis.

CEO Kaben Clauson and his team at True Public designed a mobile app that taps into the minds of Americans, particularly millennials and

Gen Z, who freely offer up their opinions about politics, dating and now, life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Overall this thing is not just a health crisis but in some ways it’s continuing to become a relationship crisis for a lot of couples,” Clauson said.

Two weeks ago, they spotted a trend among users in the 16 to 34 age range.

“When quarantine first started couples who were living together whether they were married or dating they actually had a positive view on the experience but over the last two weeks, We’ve seen that number deteriorate by 20%. A new 20 percent of people are saying, ‘I’m seeing strains in my relationship with my significant other’ and that trend line’s even getting worse,” he said.

There is some good news — 15% report their relationships have gotten better, and among older participants in longer-term relationships, the numbers are even more encouraging. But it’s the answer to this question that’s disturbing:

“When you ask people, ‘What do you think is going on with other couples out there that you’re hearing from that’s true?’ 57% think there is going to be a dramatic increase in divorce,” Clauson said.

While some may be breaking away from one another during the quarantine, others are breaking the rules.

Clauson said there is a large number of young people in Chicago and all across the country who are still seeing each other. He said 43% of people have admitted they’ve gone to see a significant other, a crush or a friend in the midst of lockdown.

Digging deeper into health risks among that same age group. About 29% report they are drinking more with 7% admitting a significant increase in alcohol consumption. 15% say they’re starting to lose sleep, and when it comes to hygiene, some are ignoring the advice of health officials.

“The CDC came out with hand washing guidelines and the perfect way to wash your hands and actually 61% of young people in America are not washing their hands more,” Clauson said. “So either they had really good hygiene before or they are not really following these guidelines,” Kaben said.

Kaben said he plans to follow the trends throughout the crisis and beyond to learn if the swings in behavior will normalize over time — with the hope to use the information to gain a better understanding of our nation’s health and help change habits for the better.

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