Loneliness is not new. It has been a part of human existence. Currently, loneliness has crept up to become an urgent public health issue.
“A new report from the Surgeon General says that social isolation’s effects on mortality are equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes every day.” – Vox
If you are feeling lonely, it is easy to blame it on the pandemic. Blame social media, which encourages interactions as posts and tweets instead of conversations. Americans are less likely to meet in church. Marriage is less common. It is more complex than that because we are more complex than that. One study documented the effect.
“One study found that a 10 percent increase in the number of people in an area who say they feel connected to others was associated with an 8 percent drop in all-cause mortality.” – Vox
So, if you feel lonely, know that you are not the only one. While the article describes policies and initiatives, at least this is something that each of us can affect without massive budgets or protests or parades. If we can break our habits, or remember a time when it was safe to knock on a neighbor’s door to say “Hi” maybe we can make some progress, if not for ourselves, then for others.
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