U.S. Chief Surgeon Vivek Murphy has released a report that the problems with loneliness and social isolation of the country's citizens have reached epidemic proportions.
This is confirmed both by research data and by Google search statistics , according to which in recent years the number of requests regarding how and where to make friends and simply “where to meet people” has increased dramatically.
Murphy cites a study that found one in two American adults felt lonely. Moreover, these data were obtained even before COVID-19, during the epidemic of which people had to go into self-isolation and refrain from direct social interaction.
It is noted that loneliness has an extremely negative impact on human health. It has been linked to an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, dementia, and premature death in the older population.
To solve the problem, the report proposes to create "points of social infrastructure". These include libraries, parks, barbershops, volunteer systems, and even public transport.
The problem of loneliness is acute not only in the United States. In February 2021, Japan appointed a Minister for Loneliness, whose task was to overcome social isolation among the population. In 2018, a similar position appeared in the UK government.