What to do during a shutdown? Nine months later we may have an answer

Pundits ponder Washington baby boomlet

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Only in a company town like D.C. would people speculate that a 16-day fall holiday for thousands of federal workers might have the same impact sometimes seen nine months after a power outage or blizzard.

But it really was about nine months ago -- the first two weeks of October -- that a showdown over the budget led to the government shutting down, leaving about 800,000 federal employees at home looking for something to do.

Now several birthing centers frequented by feds around D.C. have reported deliveries being up by a few infants per day (1 to 3) since May.

You might call it a post-shutdown Baby Boomlet.

And, after all, just how many rooms can you paint or linen closets can you re-arrange before turning to more, ah, (re)productive pursuits.

Some maternity docs doubt the uptick of babies is related to the shutdown, or weather events, for that matter, but is more likely just a natural season fluctuation.

But that hasn’t stopped the winks and nudges and bad jokes about “nonessential” activity.

NBC’s Brian Williams reported the development and then archly wondered: “How long until someone on television points out that during the shutdown the folks in Washington are apparently doing at home what Washington has been accused of doing to the American people?”

Maybe the real proof of the theory will come in a few more months.

We’re sure someone will be tracking enrollment at day care centers at federal offices – there’s probably already a GS-12 on the task.

Unless they’re on maternity/paternity leave.

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