Did you know that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, public-health experts were concerned about an epidemic of loneliness in the U.S. The coronavirus has exacerbated the problem of loneliness, in particular on the 35.7 million Americans who live alone. Experts are rightly concerned about the mental health ramifications of this widespread isolation, especially since there is no agreed-upon tipping point at which acute loneliness transitions into a chronic problem with long-term consequences. A group of doctors from Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School warned in an April 2020 published in the Annals of Internal Medicine that physical distancing and stress caused by the pandemic could worsen the suicide crisis the U.S. has already been weathering for more than a decade.
Since lock downs and stay-at-home orders were instated, roughly a third of American adults now report feeling lonelier than usual, according to an April 2020 survey by social-advice company SocialPro. If the stereotype of a lonely person is a frail, elderly adult who lives alone, the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the truth that was there all along: anyone, anywhere, of any age can experience loneliness.
SocialPro’s survey of 1,228 people ages 18 to 75 predominantly living in English-speaking countries found that at least 20% of respondents from each age group polled were lonelier than usual as a result of coronavirus. Millennials were among the most likely age groups to feel lonely before COVID-19, research shows, and that’s no different now; 34% of millennials in the survey said they were “always or often” lonelier due to the pandemic.
And of course, elderly adults remain at high risk of loneliness. Given their susceptibility to serious COVID-19 infections, older adults are likely to be even more cut off from outside life. The University of Chicago found the coronavirus pandemic has made about a third of adults 70 and older lonelier than usual.
In other words, loneliness is everywhere, especially now and we can’t keep ignoring this problem. Project 10:27 has been established to address this most important health crisis. But to make a real impact we need your help and support. Will you join with us to meet the challenge?
Project 10:27 just earned a 2020 Bronze Seal by adding information to our Nonprofit Profile on GuideStar. Now 10+ million GuideStar users can find out more about our mission and programs. Plus, we’ve provided fresh information to 200+ charitable websites and applications that use GuideStar data, such as AmazonSmile, Facebook, and Network for Good.