Birth in a Pandemic: Indian Couple Named Their Twins “Corona and Covid”
Mon, August 15, 2022

Birth in a Pandemic: Indian Couple Named Their Twins “Corona and Covid”


A couple in India has set a benchmark by naming their twins after a virus. / Photo by kckate16 via Shutterstock


The name parents give their baby will be a defining piece of the child’s identity for a lifetime. They will use that as they introduce themselves to another individual, send an email, or submit a job application, situations that will form an instant impression of them towards another person. A couple in India has set a benchmark by naming their twins after a virus.


Coronavirus-inspired baby names

According to a report published by worldwide news provider Sky News, Indian couple Preeti and Vinay Verma have named their children “Corona” and “Covid” as their way of remembering the coronavirus pandemic.

The mother Verma said that there has been apprehension regarding the pandemic and she and her husband wanted to ease the fear and anxiety that is linked with the words. Also, they wanted to “make the occasion memorable” and so they decided to name their twins Covid (boy) and Corona (girl).

Verma added that although the virus is life-threatening and dangerous, the outbreak has also made people focus on hygiene, sanitation, and other good habits. Thus, they thought the name may be associated with it.  

The 27-year-old mother explained that she faced several difficulties before giving birth. The twins were born at a hospital in Raipur. The couple is staying in a rented property in Purani Basti.

As the coronavirus has been taking over headlines across the world, it has also created a baby name trend not just in India. In the Philippines, for instance, Twitter user Niña Cayosa posted that she heard about a woman who gave birth to baby Covid Bryant. While there was no official birth certificate to show if the story is true, netizens talked about the name on different social media platforms.



Coronavirus pregnancy

Jamie Chui, 33, has been isolated for most of her nine-month pregnancy. She was just staying in her home in Hong Kong. In the first stages of her pregnancy, there were tear gas and violent protests in the streets triggered by the proposed extradition bill. Then came the coronavirus. Chui’s story, featured in The Strait Times, shows how the pandemic has left many pregnant women struggling not only with normal pregnancy infection fears and anxieties but also the reality of hospital deliveries. She said that the most stressful part is that hospitals in the country do not allow accompanied labor and visiting arrangements so she has to “fight alone.”

“I’m nervous, to be honest,” she said. However, the prohibition on labor companions is against the Safe Childbirth Checklist provided by the World Health Organization. Even in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued an executive order that no woman should give birth alone. But this is not what’s happening in China and Hong Kong. Women either have to spend more on a private hospital delivery, where their partners will be allowed to attend, or give birth alone in a public health system.

36-year-old pregnant woman Lidia Ines Cardoso Ribeiro also told The Strait Times that she had to physically and mentally prepare to deliver their baby without her husband by her side. However, she had already urged the Hospital Authority to reconsider the law in the belief that all women should have the choice to have someone they trust to support and empower them throughout the labor.


Extra anxiety caused by Covid-19 makes labor longer, more difficult

Macau-based midwife and public health researcher Christina Kimont said that the situation can be problematic as “the human body cannot easily do what it is designed to do while in a state of stress.” The extra anxiety of pregnant women caused by Covid-19 can make their labor longer and more difficult. Hence, they may need an unplanned surgical procedure.

On normal days, countries with a high rate of cesarean sections per 1,000 live births include Turkey (531), South Korea (452), Poland (393), Hungary (373), Italy (338), and Switzerland (319), according to OECD.



Birth in a pandemic

Parents have been welcoming their babies in the middle of the strange chaos caused by Covid-19. Two-week-old Danielle, for instance, has already been released from the hospital but cannot yet be hugged by her grandparents. When they visited the house, they did not come close or even cradle the baby for the safety of the child and because of the added vulnerability of the elderly to the coronavirus.

The social distancing rules and lockdowns also made it difficult for Danielle’s parents Andrew and Joanna to buy some of the necessities needed for parenting of a newborn. There was panic buying in the supermarkets. No one has also properly met Danielle yet apart from her grandparents watching her at a safe distance. 


The birth rate in 2020

At the beginning of the new year alone, an estimated 392,078 babies were born, according to UNICEF. More than half of these births occurred in these countries: India — 67,385, China — 46,299, Nigeria — 26,039, Pakistan — 16,787, Indonesia — 13,020, The United States of America — 10,452, The Democratic Republic of Congo — 10,247, and Ethiopia — 8,493.

The countries with the highest birth rate in 2020 are Israel (19.830), Panama (18.601), Oman (18.090), Saudi Arabia (17.097), Argentina (16.736), and Guam (16.405). The current birth rate for the United States in 2020 is 11.990 births per 1,000 people.

The expectation of having a new family member is supposed to be a time of joy and excitement but the pandemic is changing that. Hospitals run out of beds and supplies in the fight against a pandemic and soon-to-be parents are worried about their newborns, themselves, and also the extra resources they will be allocating for safe delivery. Most parents won’t even view hospitals as the safest place to bring their newborn, whose immune system is not strong enough. This is why some prefer to give birth at home to lower the risk of possible transmission.

In the meantime, though, expectant women are advised to remain calm and discuss their situation with their physician ahead of time to evaluate what is and is not feasible.


Hospitals run out of beds and supplies in the fight against a pandemic. / Photo by Phasut Waraphisit via Shutterstock