Elizabeth (Izzy) Montgomery, MPA
Recent data indicate that social isolation and feelings of loneliness have been increasing among many Americans. Public health efforts such as social distancing, necessary to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, may be inadvertently contributing to these issues.
This explainer examines research on these issues, which can have detrimental impacts on individuals’ mental and physical health. The explainer also provides context on the causes of social isolation and loneliness, their prevalence prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of the pandemic on them, and opportunities to address them.