The first 'coronials' or 'quarenteens', terms popularly used to designate babies conceived during the coronavirus pandemic, are already here. And their arrival to the world could be boosting the birth rate in Finland.
At least that is what may have happened in the first quarter of 2021, a period that recorded an increase in the number of births, according to the latest population figures published by Statistics Finland.
Preliminary statistics for the period January-March show that a total of 12,156 children were born in Finland, which is 717 more than in the corresponding period of 2020.
If we pay attention to the laws governing biology, those newborns could be conceived during the first spring of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
The outbreak of the virus caused in many countries - also in Finland - restrictions of movement and calls for people to work, study from home and go out as little as possible.
Much has been said about the harmful effects that closures can have on people's mental health and safety, but experts have also long predicted a 'baby boom' related to increased time together for many couples.
Closing restaurants and other entertainment venues may also have helped some people get closer to each other, in the absence of other possibilities to pass the time.
It remains to be seen if this is an isolated phenomenon and limited to the first months of the pandemic or if the upward trend in the birth rate will continue throughout the year.
Finland's birth rate already recorded a slight growth in 2020.
More babies needed
However, for Finland the birth of the 'quarenteens' is not enough.
Finns would need to make a lot more babies to make up for deaths in the same period. Between January and March, the number of births was 1,578 lower than that of deaths, despite the 'coronials' effect.
The total number of deaths was 13,734 which is 358 lower than one year earlier.
The arrival of immigrants continues to compensate for this lack of procreation. During January-March, Finland's population increased by 3,323 persons.
"The reason for the population increase was migration gain from abroad: the number of immigrants was 4,841 higher than that of emigrants," the statistical agency says.
Altogether, during the first quarter 7,064 persons immigrated to Finland from abroad and 2,223 persons emigrated from Finland during the first quarter.
The number of immigrants was 1,148 lower and the number of emigrants 898 lower than in the previous year.
According to Statistics Finland's data, Finland's population at the end of March was 5,537,116.