“Only the lonely, know the way I feel tonight,” the late, great Roy Orbison crooned.
If Orbison was singing his hit during the 2020 global pandemic, chances are he’d have to change the lyrics to include the whole world.
As the pandemic rages on, hunkering down is getting more claustrophobic. Even those of us who have roommates (a.k.a. family) sharing space, are feeling the strain of too much alone time.
Social science researchers are going to have a field day once we all are freed from our respective cocoons, and the effects of loneliness may be a key question.
It already has been for Julie Aitken Schermer, a Western University management and organizational studies professor, who, along with master’s student Kristi MacDonald and two Dutch researchers, published a paper this week in the journal, Social Science, about predicting loneliness based on where people live and what they do.
Loneliness has already been shown as a cause for a litany of mental and physical issues, such as heart disease, depression, elevated stress, and abuse of drugs and alcohol.