Social Problems of Families During COVID-19

Family refers to a group of people related either by blood, adoption, or marriage and can be classified into nuclear or extended. Marriage is an approved mating arrangement of a group of people which is usually marked by a ceremony. Functionalists emphasize that marriage, family, and society must fulfill the basic needs to survive. These functions include the socialization of children, economic production, care of the aged and sick, sex control, recreation, and reproduction.

Due to the isolated nature of today’s nuclear family from the extended family, COVID-19 has affected these families adversely, creating emotional overload for its members. Extended families provide an extensive kinship network that can be counted on for emotional and material support. The pandemic caused numerous deaths and the loss of jobs among family members. This led to greater strain on the few family members causing emotional overload. The emotional overload has, in turn, led to inevitable conflict among the family members. In situations where some family members have lost their jobs while others retained, possible change of power relations might have occurred. Besides, paid housework was cut short by the pandemic, so family members became more involved in household chaos.

COVID-19 also affected marriages and relationships when one of a partner passed away due to the pandemic. Widows and widowers were left with a lot of grief and had to carry on the responsibility of taking care of their children/family members without their partners. Also, daycare and nannies were relieved of their job, meaning the involvement of parents in child care, a responsibility they had long forgotten.

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