“[Loneliness is] a signal that there’s a human connection that you need that you’re not getting.” Photograph: olrat/Alamy Stock Photo
by Mathias Rosenzweig
“This was the year we all began social distancing. But the ensuing isolation was already the norm for a rapidly growing population – and a major opportunity for many businesses. And as isolation has engulfed the globe like the virus itself, the business of loneliness is booming.
“Even before the pandemic, loneliness had been deemed an official epidemic in several countries. Rates of loneliness in the US have doubled over the past 50 years. In 2018, some 200,000 of the UK’s elderly hadn’t spoken to a friend or relative in a month, according to a government report, and 75% of the country’s general practitioners report seeing between one and five lonely patients each day.
Boyfriends for rent, robots, camming: how the business of loneliness is booming
“Covid-19 is a scary illness, but loneliness kills too. A Health Resources and Services Administration study found that severe loneliness can damage your health as much as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Researchers in the US have gone so far as to say that seniors enduring long bouts of loneliness have a 45% higher risk of mortality than the rest.
“As governments, including the UK’s, have moved to tackle the growing issue, so too did the private sector. But how exactly do you mitigate loneliness?”
Keep reading this article at The Guardian, click here.