What do you call a child conceived during the global coronavirus pandemic? Well, according to some, the answer is C. In a nationwide poll the majority of Americans thought babies conceived during the pandemic should become "Generation C," with C being a reference to COVID or the novel coronavirus.
"The COVID crisis feels like such a generation-defining event," Nick Pendle, co-founder of the sexual wellness app Lover, which tasked Ipsos eNation with conducting the poll, said in a recent press release. "The whole age group most shaped by it will need a collective name — and 'Generation C' feels the perfect choice for that too."
In a nationwide poll of more than 1,000 Americans, Ipsos eNation and Lover found that 20% of respondents felt "Generation C" was the best name for babies conceived during the global coronavirus pandemic and born roughly nine months later. According to Lover and Ipsos eNation, the term "Generation Q" (Q for quarantine) came in just a handful of votes under "Generation C."
Other popular choices were "Quaranteenies," which garnered 19% of votes, Coronials, which was favored by 12% of the poll's respondents, and "Pandemials" at 11%. Poll respondents were least impressed with the terms "Epidemials" and "Virennials," both of which garnered only 2% of votes. But while the majority of respondents favored the terms "Generation C" and "Generation Q," the term "Generation V" (as in virus) polled less well, garnering only 4% of votes. Rounding out the list of generation names suggested by Lover were "Covinnials" and "Covidials," which earned 6% and 4% of votes, respectively.
Interestingly, this isn't the first time the term "Generation C" has been suggested for babies born or conceived during this ongoing global pandemic. In an essay for The Atlantic published in late March, Ed Yong wrote that he'd settled on the term while discussing the topic with a pregnant friend expected to deliver sometime during the public health crisis. "We realized that her child might be one of the first of a new cohort who are born into a society profoundly altered by COVID-19," Yong wrote. "We decided to call them Generation C. As we'll see, Gen C's lives will be shaped by the choices made in the coming weeks, and by the losses we suffer as a result."
A few weeks later, The Atlantic's Amanda Mull argued that "Generation C includes more than just babies" as young kids, high school and college students, and even those working in their first job post graduation were all poised to be "uniquely vulnerable" to the affects of this pandemic.
Of course, there's no official organization or roadmap for naming generations. As NPR reported, it's often more about various different people throwing terms out and seeing what sticks. And while some generations are named as a result of some defining characteristic, others take their name after a defining moment. For example, NPR reported that Neil Howe and William Strauss invented the term "Millennial generation," which later became simply "Millennials," based on the fact that this generation would graduate high school in or around the year 2000. In contrast, the generation now known as Baby Boomers was named in reference to the significant uptick of births seen during that time.
So, will babies born or conceived during the coronavirus pandemic go on to become known as "Generation C?" The truth is, we'll likely have to wait and see if the name sticks.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here, and Bustle’s constantly updated, general “what to know about coronavirus” here.