Take Steps to Counter the Loneliness of Social Distancing

Article Take Steps to Counter the Loneliness of Social Distancing

Attempts to avoid coronavirus can increase the risk of physical and emotional harm from limited social contact.




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Research suggests that most people pick up their phones up to nine times every hour, but when did you last pick up your phone to make an actual call? New York Times personal health columnist Jane E. Brody says that now would be a great time to do just that, because when social connection breaks down, mental health plummets. During the coronavirus pandemic, people who are sheltering in place need social connection more than ever. Brody offers some useful tips to help you fight loneliness during self-isolation.


Long-term loneliness poses a hefty risk to people’s physical and emotional health.

Many people are lonely sometimes. Many more people have gotten a lot lonelier since governments had to implement social distancing and self-isolation orders to reduce the spread of the deadly coronavirus. In his new book, Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World, former US surgeon general Vivek H. Murthy discusses the risks that loneliness poses to physical and emotional health.

Drawing on various research, Murthy found that loneliness hurts longevity more than a sedentary lifestyle, obesity or excessive drinking. Plunging...

About the Author

Jane E. Brody has written columns about personal health for The New York Times since 1976. She’s the author of Jane Brody’s Nutrition Book and Jane Brody’s Good Food Book.

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