With the increase in coronavirus cases, more people remain in self-isolation, guarding social distance or, because of universal quarantine, simply unable to walk outside. Against this background, the virus is not the only thing that threatens our health – loneliness is no less harmful.
Researchers have long since discovered the effects of loneliness and isolation from society on our bodies. People who lose touch with others are at higher risk for colds, suffer from depression, develop heart disease, have low cognitive functions, and their lives are short. In fact, the harm caused by prolonged loneliness is similar to that of smoking or obesity.
A national survey conducted in the US in January revealed that 79% of Generation Z, 71% of millennials and 50% of “Baby Boomers” feel lonely. However, over the past decade, the share of people who are members of any community group, sports league, volunteer team or club has fallen from 75% to 57%. Regardless of how the coronavirus separates us from each other, it seems that the social ties of the majority of the population and the so-called social health are already quite scarce.
Thus, insofar as isolation is a justified method of combating the coronavirus pandemic, it is so necessary to find a suitable response to the “loneliness epidemic” as well. I wonder how we can improve our social well-being so that we can protect ourselves from infection? – The answer is simple: with the device with which you are now reading this article.