Loneliness an important public health issue • Factum
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Loneliness an important public health issue

In times of Corona, social isolation and loneliness are common buzzwords. That loneliness makes you sick was already known before the Corona crisis. The American Association of Retired People (AARP) conducted a study on the effects of loneliness as early as 2017. The study showed that the American state can save $6.7 billion in healthcare costs if it promotes social contact, especially among the elderly. Theresa May therefore appointed a “Minister of loneliness” in 2018. Among other things, he will be responsible for ensuring that social relationships are maintained in old age. Kate Garman, an expert on urban change, would like to see many more “Ministers of loneliness”. She points out:

“Covid-19 is highlighting more than ever that human connectedness is important. Essential workers are necessary: to get food, to receive healthcare. But what is also important is the desire to be with others simply for social connectedness. … we need to think of “loneliness” differently. It is a public health issue that impacts a greater part of our population than we may have realized.”