Social distancing and self-isolation have turned a mental health problem into a medical necessity, but Dr. Will Courtenay sees an opportunity for healthy connections.
There’s a good chance you’re settling into another workday at home – or preparing kids for another school day in their bedrooms. It’s the new normal: the public health strategy of “social distancing.”
Canceling large gatherings, closing schools or offices and sheltering
in place are effective ways to slow the spread of COVID-19. But there’s a cost. And it’s not just economic. It’s potentially a cost to health and well-being.
There’s a fine line between social distancing and social isolation,
which the last surgeon general considered our country’s biggest health problem. He said we’re “facing an epidemic of loneliness and social isolation.” Today, were facing a pandemic for which – ironically – physical social isolation is the remedy.
Social isolation is linked with major health risks – including a risk of
death equaling that of smoking. So, while communities will benefit from social distancing, individuals may not.