Thank you for sharing! I love the tagline on your article about masks bringing us together over the past 400 years, much like medical progress. Also, I'm having amazing thoughts about progress that you can directly link me to accessing this article from 1905.
Yes, the psychological factor is often cited for discrete events that bring people closer together or highlight a stark idea of what is important in their life. But did COVID initially present a more troubling future? That might work against this idea, because you are pessimistic about the future of a world subject to a global pandemic. However, your point might hold differently for the women highlighted here, since they are in a much more secure place than their peers subject to exposure and uncertainty about their employment.
I've also seen discussion about how the opportunity cost of time-- what else women could be doing during this period-- fast-forwarded plans. Nothing much to do with my free time- might as well have a baby! That could speak to Claudia's work because her thesis about women's late fertility has to do with the cost of establishing a career. The time cost of this delays having a family. In the COVID period, many time costs were slashed- i.e. commuting, meetings, besides most social obligations. Might have seemed more feasible to start families with a 2000/2001 view of the balance of time available for both pursuits.