In The Midst Of The Pandemic, Loneliness Has Leveled Out

Social distancing has made us recognize the importance of our relationships, which influence health and mortality as much as factors such as smoking and excessive drinking.

In a study published in the American Psychologist,researchers surveyed a group of people aged 18 to 98 across the U.S. at three different times: in late January and early February, before the U.S. outbreak; in late March, after social distancing was first recommended; and in late April, after shelter-in-place orders had been underway for a month. Each time, they polled participants using the UCLA Loneliness Scale and asked them to rate the statement, “I receive the social and emotional support that I need.” On average, the researchers found no significant changes in loneliness. In fact, perceived social and emotional support actually increased.