The Coming Social Recession

As social distancing expands, the people who are most vulnerable to COVID-19—those over age 60 and those with certain underlying health conditions—are also those most at risk for suffering from loneliness and social isolation.

We’ve entered a new period of “social pain,” says New York University sociologist Eric Klinenberg. “There’s going to be a level of social suffering related to isolation and the cost of social distancing that very few people are discussing yet.”

It’s important for families and neighbors to do want they can to ease the pain—by encouraging safer activities like outdoor walks, offering to run errands for people who can't go out, and ramping up virtual communication and video calls.


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