'This lockdown is straining relations. People need help'

But a better understanding of the way in which the social earthquake of war, experienced collectively by a generation, profoundly affects family relationships over the long term, might offer something. ____________________________________________________ More on coronavirus: ____________________________________________________ It’s the same for the first world war: we rarely talk about the fact that the dreadful death toll – almost 750,000 British men were killed – meant that single young women outnumbered their male peers by more than a fifth in the 1921 census, a group the press distastefully dubbed “the surplus women”. Partly because we don’t yet know what those implications will be, partly because it is easier to track changes to our economic and physical health, andpartly because we value emotional health less, a lot of the discussion about this feels hopelessly superficial: well-meaning but cliched guides for couples on surviving lockdown; datingapppress releases boasting of increases in their swipe rates; lawyers predicting a rise in divorce rates while others speculate about a lockdown baby boom. But beyond the awful situation of being trapped in lockdown with an abuser, there are plenty of people who will find themselves in fraught circumstances when it comes to their intimate and family relationships. My single friends are debating whether it’s worth continuing to date, or to give up until things return to something like normality, which could feel like an eternity for women in their late 30s who want children. One is six weeks into a relationship based on daily video calls; while the intensity means they are having the sorts of conversations she might not normally at thatstage, she’s wondering how long things can progress without meeting in person. Gallery: How the coronavirus is being handled globally (Photo Services) Some might argue there’s nothing the state can do about something as nebulous as our relationships: it must keep focused on the public health response and providing a financial cushion. For me, the lockdown has served as a poignant reminder that what makes my life great is less a slavish devotion to excessive consumption and more spending time with those I cherish.