Impact of loneliness during pandemic urgent: Research

04:40 PM, 12 Dec, 2022
Impact of loneliness during pandemic urgent: Research

HONG KONG: A recent study conducted by students at the Medical Ethics and Humanities Unit, Hong Kong University emphasizes the importance and urgency of research on loneliness and its impact on human beings.

Loneliness has been a major cause for concern in humans of all ages and occupations for decades. Physicians and public health practitioners have also laid emphasis on the need for research on this subject. 

First, loneliness potentially affects people across multiple geographical locations, under different circumstances and different points of life. Second, it is philosophically intriguing, and its analysis allows researchers to dive into different branches of philosophy including phenomenology, existentialism, philosophy of mind, etc. Third, empirical research has shown that loneliness is a significant health risk factor. Loneliness can thus be defined as a (negative) social determinant of health.

 The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the vulnerability of humans when left without social interactions and daily routine. The members of humanity were not adequately prepared to face the consequences of loneliness as a result on the pandemic's precautionary global response. Loneliness is the cause for more mental and medical illnesses that can cause an increase in mortality rates. Researchers still do not know what makes one feel lonely or what causes one to want to remain in solitude.

Loneliness should be understood as a social determinant of health. The arguement that individuals have a right not to be lonely just as much as they have the right to healthcare is something that scientists today, should probe into.