For most people, the term “social distance” is contradictory to the very nature of who we are: social animals whose very existence relies on interacting with others, whether through families, workplaces, neighborhoods, nations and beyond.
So when we’ve been asked to “social distance” due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us may feel alone – physically, psychologically, and of course, socially.
To meet the needs of individuals experiencing homelessness as well as to help curtail COVID-19’s trajectory, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that those individuals with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases live in housing that isolates them from others.
It’s a common-sense recommendation as the number one call to action to control this pandemic is social distancing – living and working apart from one another as much as possible.
Which is more effective for treating substance use disorders – online or in-person interventions?
A recently released study of addiction treatments by Yale University compared the effectiveness of online to in-person methods and drew a conclusion that might offend readers with Luddite leanings: web-based treatment is not only as effective as in-person treatment but possibly more so.
He was one of the most honest people I had ever met. His face was honest; it betrayed every emotion. His voice was honest. He always told you exactly what he was thinking. His heart was honest.
He felt things more strongly than anyone I know. I loved him. I met him on the first day of 9th grade and was instantly smitten. He was always kind and jovial with me, despite my relatively uncool standing, to his relatively popular one.
The youngest of three, Casey did her own thing, her own way. Popular, athletic and prom-queen pretty, she is quick-witted and outgoing, with a sarcastic sense of humor.
When it was time to go to college, we weren’t concerned about her becoming a “girls-gone-wild” casualty because of her focus on academics and general self-assurance.
As I showed a hometown friend around my university’s library one November Sunday afternoon in my sophomore year, a classmate saw me and said, “Did you hear about Frank?”.
I had last seen my roommate on Friday afternoon when we both headed to our respective hometowns for the weekend. I returned to the campus on Sunday. Frank did not. He had died by suicide.
I first met “Ted” when I was barely 18, both of us transients in a city of transients where superficial friendships were the common social norm.
Ted was about 10 years older, and although we never dated, we had maintained casual contact with each other. We never discussed our personal history or hopes for the future, but I had sensed a deep, quiet loneliness about him that meshed with my own.
The U.S. News & World Report ranked Colorado Springs as number 11 on its list of 2017 Best Places to Live in the USA.
However, even in this ultimate vacation destination of snow-capped mountains and clean air, tragedy can strike.
We all know that there are several lifestyle and environmental risk factors for early mortality, including obesity, a sedentary lifestyle and smoking. However, we often forget a far less researched and talked about risk factor for mortality: loneliness and social isolation. Often that loneliness and social isolation are heightened during the holidays, which, ironically, is a time meant to be enjoyed with family and friends. However, for many it is a time that can exacerbate feelings of loneliness and a desire to withdraw. The holidays, therefore, present an excellent time to discuss the role we can all play in reinforcing connections in a world that, on the surface at least, is more connected than it has ever been due to…