How the Coronavirus Pandemic Fuels America’s Loneliness Epidemic

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EVER SINCE THE NOVEL coronavirus pandemic forced California to issue a stay-at-home order to prevent spread of the virus, Fred Davis’ phone has been ringing almost nonstop. The callers: senior citizens who are shut in, alone and eager to know when the statewide lockdown might end.

“They’re calling me because they’re lonely,” says Davis, 74, a retired mortgage broker and part-time minister who volunteers at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center in San Diego, his hometown. Some clients, he says, are alone after having outlived spouses or even children, while others depend on the senior center’s bingo games, dances and luncheons for social contact. The shutdown order, he says, is pushing his peers further into isolation.

Avoiding others “is OK when you choose to do it, if you want to go home and rest,” Davis says. The harm, he says, comes “when you are forced to do it – when you’re locked out of places. It’s just a sad experience for them.”

Full article at US News

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