Maybe it was the stress. Maybe it was being cooped up with the mother-in-law. But the numbers are in, and one effect of the coronavirus lockdown is now clear: People made fewer babies. A lot fewer babies.
Britain’s unemployment rate hit its highest in nearly five years in the three months to November, when coronavirus cases began to rise for a second time and most of the country returned to a partial lockdown.
Fears that the UK economy is facing a double-dip recession have intensified after a poor Christmas for retailers was followed by a slump in activity in January as tougher lockdown measures took effect.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Parliament on Wednesday that ending England’s latest lockdown would require a “gradual unwrapping” over time, pledging that schools would be the “very first things to reopen”.
Britain began its third COVID-19 lockdown on Tuesday with citizens under orders to stay at home and the government calling for one last major national effort to stem the virus before mass vaccinations turn the tide.