Working to keep social bonds in place while social distancing

New model: Some states could end social distancing in early May, others in the summer
Posted at 4:28 PM, Jun 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 16:28:32-04

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- With restaurants partially open, events cancelled, and millions out of work during Covid-19, experts say we may soon be in an economic recession.

But will there also be another type of recession brewing?

Now that we’ve been behind closed doors for weeks — not only do we face an economic recession — but a social one as well. A social recession is a fraying of social bonds. This can impact people’s moods, health, ability to work and learn, as well as harm their sense of community. “It’s going to take some time to transition,” said Flora Torra, a psychologist.

There are things we can do to make sure our social muscle doesn’t atrophy.

First, spend at least 15 minutes each day communicating with people … other than the people you’re living with.

Second, make the time you do spend with people as distraction-free as possible.

Third, practice moments of solitude.

Fourth, reach out and help others, but keep in mind, it’s going to take different amounts of time for different people to feel like our new normal is normal. “Let’s be more thoughtful or conscious of space from now on,” said Torra.

Long before the novel Coronavirus separated people, loneliness was rampant. In 2018, an AARP study found 35 percent of people over the age of 45 were already lonely. And by most measures, more adults in the United States struggle with loneliness than smoke or have diabetes.