During Covid-19, people have isolated themselves from one another to the extreme. Covid-19 is highly contagious, and this was necessary. However, it comes at a price. Social isolation has its own consequences, and people are handling it now.
Social Isolation Explained
All people enjoy some alone time, where they can relax, meditate, and rejuvenate. Social isolation is unwanted and unhealthy isolation that lasts for a long tie. People who are socially isolated might not have any friends, and they may feel lonely and depressed. This can lead to low self-esteem, anxiety, and more. It can also lead to further symptoms, including the following:
- They avoid social interactions
- They cancel plans
- They experience anxiety
- They feel distressed
- They feel dread
- They spend a lot of time alone
Isolation and Loneliness
There is a difference between social isolation and loneliness. Social isolation is where someone lacks social relationships and social contact. Loneliness is a feeling of isolation. A person can be isolated without feeling lonely. These two feelings are linked together, and social isolation can lead to loneliness.
Causes of Social Isolation
There are many different things that can cause social isolation, including the following:
- Abusive relationships
- Loss of a loved one
- Mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem
- Remote location
- Physical disabilities
- Social media
- Being unemployed
The Effect of Physical Distance on Social Isolation
Physical distancing is when people intentionally avoid spending time with others to slow the spread of a disease. During Covid-19, it was necessary. It helped to prevent people from getting sick, but it is not without any consequences. The guidelines shut down or limited the ability of people to gather in public, whether in stadiums, malls, schools, churches, restaurants, and more. It also caused a difference in work. Many people began working from home. Many other activities moved online, and a lot of people started feeling lonely.
The Effects on People
Mental health and physical health are connected to one another. Social isolation has caused people to lose sleep, it has reduced immunity, and more. People are suffering from higher anxiety and depression, and suicide rates are growing. Becoming less active also has physical consequences, and can lead to reduced cardiovascular health. There are many links between physical distancing and social isolation.