11.10.2019 05:31 AM

Alone

Kristof in the Times:

We humans make a lonely crowd, and it’s killing us.

Social isolation is more lethal than smoking 15 cigarettes a day, or than obesity, according to research published by Julianne Holt-Lunstad of Brigham Young University. Since obesity is associated in the United States with 300,000 to 600,000 deaths a year, the implication is that loneliness is a huge, if silent, killer.

Loneliness increases inflammation, heart disease, dementia and death rates, researchers say — but it also simply makes us heartsick and leaves us inhabiting an Edvard Munch canvas. Public health experts in many countries are debating how to address a “loneliness epidemic” that corrodes modern life, but Britain has taken the lead: Last year it appointed a minister for loneliness.

“It touches almost every one of us at some point,” Baroness Barran, the current minister for loneliness, told me. “It can lead to very serious health consequences for the individual and leads to erosion of our society, where people become isolated and disconnected.”

4 Comments

  1. Pipes says:

    We are more alone now than ever before. Hmm wonder of social media is the cause?

    • Felipe Morales says:

      Michel Trmblay wrote: ” on est des tu-seuls..même quand on est avec quelq’un on est des tu-seuls ensemble”. We don’t have to be.

  2. Peter says:

    Not to make light of the problem, but a minister for loneliness? I can’t begin to imagine what a national government thinks it could do about it.

    Plus that is one of the most outrageous examples of the misuse of statistics I’ve ever seen.

  3. Leasa Janssen says:

    Being a farmer, I can go many days without seeing anyone that isn’t business related, except for my beautiful wonderful husband. I like the peace. I love the back 40 with my dogs. I love hearing the wind. The crackle of a deer as I walk by the bush on our headland. I love the bush, where I can see left overs from a deer carcass the coyotes brought down. I love the snap of birds as they take flight when my dogs find them. If my husband goes before I do I will have to add 10 dogs to my pack and then hope the loneliness of missing him doesn’t kill me or make me wish I didn’t die. But for now, I’m just so full. So content. And, love the many days I need no make up, no hair blower, just some soft sweat pants, a sweat shirt and my Delhi Dinner Jacket and my boots. Loneliness I dread, but know, it’s inevitable, unless I go first. 😉

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