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Loneliness During a Period of Social Distancing

Catherine Bruce, LCSW, Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region

With recommendations to practice social distancing in this uncertain time, many people are left feeling afraid and lonely.

Social distancing is thought to slow the spread of COVID-19 and requires people to stay at home as much as possible (Pearce, 2020). In our community we are seeing closures of schools, churches, and restaurants. For many of us, these are spaces where we connect with one another and build a sense of community. Unfortunately, at this time we have been told those spaces are not safe especially for older adults, people with chronic illnesses, and those who are immunocompromised. However, staying at home and away from other people can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation which can also be associated with poor health outcomes (“Social Isolation,” 2019). In order to combat feelings of loneliness, we will need to be more intentional than ever to engage with our support network and practice self-care.

While we are all staying at home as much as possible to slow the spread of COVID-19, here are some ideas to stave off loneliness: