The loneliness crisis affecting America could be as deadly as smoking. In addition to smoking, type 2 diabetes, obesity, opioids and alcoholism, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has identified another lifestyle disease epidemic that is “an urgent public health concern”: loneliness.
In the 82-page report “Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation”, published on 2 May 2023, he clearly states that he knows how “loneliness is a common feeling for many people. It is like hunger or thirst. It’s a feeling that the body sends us when we lack something we need for survival and… millions of people in America are struggling in the shadows, and that’s not right. Loneliness is more than just a negative feeling: it harms individual and social health. It is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia, stroke, depression, anxiety, and premature death. The mortality impact of social disconnection is similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day.” Murthy’s report adds that the repercussions of loneliness also outweigh those associated with obesity and lack of exercise.
In an article published in the New York Times, Dr. Murthy recalls his struggle with loneliness after being fired by President Trump in 2017. He describes the feeling in dramatic terms. “Loneliness–like depression, with which it can be associated–can erode your self-esteem and erode your sense of who you are. That’s what happened to me.” At the same he also describes the dire consequences of a ‘lonely’ society because, “Loneliness is not just a bad feeling. When people are socially detached, the risk of anxiety and depression increases. It also increases the risk of heart disease (29%), dementia (50%) and stroke (32%). The increased risk of premature death associated with social disconnection is comparable to that of daily smoking and may be even greater than the risk associated with obesity. As it has for decades, the epidemic of loneliness and isolation has fueled other problems that are killing us and threatening to tear our country apart. Given these extraordinary costs, rebuilding social connections must be a top priority for our nation’s public health. We will need to reorient ourselves, our communities and our institutions so that we prioritize human connections and healthy relationships.”
The strategy of the U.S. Surgeon General is simple and runs on three initiatives:
- Strengthen the social infrastructure by teaching workplaces, children and communities the importance of relationships.
- Control technology so as to pay more attention to others.
- Rebuild personal ties.
Our need for human relationships is like our need for food and water: it is essential for our survival. But the first neutral society in which we are brought up in relationships is our family, for a baby even its mother’s womb, and then the contact and nursing of its mother and the help that from the earliest stages of life even dad can give. So we share all of the analysis and dangers reported by Vivek Murthy but, let us denounce the reality: the causes that led to the current catastrophic situation, in the U.S., U.K. and all countries in the West predated COVID 19 and is caused by the culture of political correctness and the consumerist and social media tyranny that wants oversexualized teens and adults to be solitary consumerists, unstable transsexuals, polyamorous infidels. Consequently, it promotes statism and fluid family forms and systems of suicide and euthanasia conducive to ‘ending human lives’ that are no longer productive or contribute to consumption.
Unless we restart from these root cause analyses and, step by step, economically, fiscally and culturally favor stable family couples (an environment where one learns the virtuous and civilized mix of responsibility, freedom, duty, gratuitousness, patience and solidarity), there will be no state cure that will save the majority of dying loners living like amoebas in Western cities.
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