Social Isolation Hurts People More Than the Virus

Social Isolation Hurts People More Than the Virus

Recently, I listened to a video by Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai and he asked, “What hurts people’s immune system more than a virus? It’s social isolation.” We aren’t meant to be isolated. It’s heartbreaking to know that people are dying without their loved ones around them. That older people in nursing homes can’t be with their spouses and are all alone. This virus is causing a lot more harm than just illness and death.

Every morning, I go sit outside in my front yard. I play with my cats. I also read but what I love most is chatting with my neighbors and the people who walk by. Almost every time I go outside in front during the day, people are there. They want social interaction. When my husband and I take walks later in the day, there are more people outside walking, running, talking, and riding bikes than we have ever seen.

The people that are hurting the most during this quarantine are those who live alone. These are the ones we need to be reaching out to. If you are one of them, I hope there are people you can FaceTime often. Can you go outside and visit with neighbors? We all need fresh air and sunshine. “The ‪outdoors and sunshine are such strong factors in fighting viral infections, that a 2009 study of the extra ordinary success of outdoor hospitals during the 1918 influenza epidemic suggested that during the next pandemic, we should encourage the public to spend as much time outdoors as possible.” (The Atlantic, April 7, 2020)

Besides being able to be with other people, Dr. Shiva speaks a lot about boosting our immune systems. We need exercise and healthy food. He speaks about the destruction sugar has on the immune system. I find it disheartening that the big time doctors on the task force aren’t speaking about ways to boost our immune systems. Yes, they have talked about obesity being a big problem and encouraged obese people to not drink, take drugs, or smoke but what about eating healthy, eating less, and exercising? I know most people don’t want to be told what to do, but they still need to hear it for their own good.

We were never created to be alone. God created Eve to be Adam’s help meet because it was NOT good for man to be alone. “God sets the solitary in families” (Psalm 68:6). He never intended for us to live alone. We are to live in families. “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

I pray for a few women I know who live alone through no choice of their own. This time must be extremely difficult for them but they do love the Lord so they trust Him. It is still not the way it should be. Reach out to those who live alone if you can. They need human interaction and if you are alone, try to get outside and go on walks to see people. The chances of getting the virus outside are slim to none.

And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
Genesis 2:18

20 thoughts on “Social Isolation Hurts People More Than the Virus

  1. Hello Lori,
    My mom is in a CBRF unit with Alzheimer’s and dementia. I haven’t been able to visit for nearly 2 months since they were on quarantine for another flu virus shortly before the corona virus became an issue. She had forgotten most members of the family, but still recognized me and even said my name a few times during our visits. Now, I am feeling as if her memory of me will be completely gone after all this. Elisabeth Elliot said this about suffering in any form—“Suffering is never for nothing…I can say that I know the One who knows.” For those isolated from their loved ones, take heart and commit them to the Lord. His presence is there. Thank you, Lori, for addressing this.

  2. I have a dear friend who is single, in her 50’s with health problems that forced her onto disability, living alone. She is a prayer warrior and an encourager. She says that she sees the huge need, so she texts or calls ladies. She did share that through this time she has been lonely. I need to drop her a ‘covid card’ as I like to call them, a little pick me up, thinking of you to brighten your day style of card.

    I think of my parents who have the Lord’s Supper, just the 2 of them on Sunday mornings. So precious! It’s such a comfort that the Bible says, “where 2 or 3 are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst.” Never alone if we’re believers in Christ.

  3. As far as I know, there’s no government mandate explicating forbidding US citizens to leave their homes. I’ve hiked daily and have seen many people on the local trails! I’ve gone to the grocery store, and other stores as needed to run errands (we must wear masks in stores now and I do). Since the “shelter in place” began, my husband and I have invited neighbors over for a campfire in our yard nearly every night-we maintain our distance and space out a bit more but there’s no limit on our interaction with people! We’ve visited our parents and siblings. We’ve always donated money to our local food bank. Perhaps some are taking the guidelines too literally? For what it’s worth, I live in a more liberal state as well.

  4. The State’s pushing of this “social distancing” nonsense, and its even more pernicious cousin, “isolation,” ultimately have nothing to do with containing any virus. They are stealth means of controlling the population. Isolated, panicky people who cannot form bonds with, communicate with, or rely on their extended families, neighbors, or communities are much easier to manipulate and control. The State exploits for its own ungodly ends the panic, confusion, and despair caused by isolation. Pure evil.

    The best thing anyone in good health can do is ignore the evil proclamations of the Big Brother State and live life as normally as possible – to include fellowshipping with their Christian brethren (the churches’ disgraceful, cowardly capitulation to both Caesar and FEAR throughout this whole ordeal is fodder for a whole other volume of commentary).

  5. Dear Lori and Friends, i live less than 200 miles from NYC. Pennsylvania ranks 5th of cases in the US. Thing is, PA’s population of less than 20 million divided by the positive cases (about 34,500) gives the PA resident about 1 chance in 500 of getting covid. About 1,500 have died. So even if a PA resident gets it, he or she stands less than 5% chance of dying.

    This isn’t the black plague.

    Frankly, (not that i’m anyone’s medical expert, but) it’s seems that our nation’s leaders are over-reacting a bit.

    Meanwhile, people are stuck in dinky apartments and are worried sick about paying the rent – and whether or not they’ll have jobs (to pay their stupidly overpriced rents, that WILL come due).

  6. A member of my church has down syndrome and her health hasn’t been well for over a year, she’s lived longer than many thought she would. My biggest fear is she won’t recognize me and other members of the church when we are able to return (she’s 45 and started showing signs of alzheimers earlier this year). I stopped at a local grocery store yesterday, maybe it’s me but people seem to have changed, they eye you up when you get close (I stay the recommended 6 feet), makes you feel like a criminal. I used to love striking up a conversation with people while shopping (I’m a people person!). My state requires everyone to wear masks in public, I miss seeing people smiling and conversing. It’s depressing, I’ll be glad when this is over and we can return to normal – what ever the “new” normal may be.

  7. A friend of mine is in the same heartbreaking situation. Her mother is in a nursing/rehab home for rehab (she’s 90), she refuses to eat, do her therapy, or talk to her family on the family – she feels they have abandoned her. And, the facility will not allow them to see her through the windows-let her know they haven’t abandoned her. Sadly, she may be a Covid 19 death statistic without even contracting the virus.

  8. There is nothing stopping people from taking walks, going outside, speaking to their neighbors from a safe distance, etc. My husband still runs 8 miles a day, outside. There are also no mandates keeping people from communicating with their families via phone, emails, texts, letters. Just because it’s not as easy doesn’t mean it can’t be done!

  9. It’s still very lonely for those who are alone for the majority of the day in their home. Surely, you can understand this and for those who are dying without their loved ones by their side. It’s a tragedy.

  10. I feel so bad for the ones who are by themselves! I have sent cards, letters, even small packages to these people! I have become more busy at home by doing this plus my usual house chores and homeschooling. I also have made calls to these lonely people!

    On the other hand, I think it is great that families have to be in close quarters, learning how to home school, cook and do the normal wife duties. I heard the other day how a mom said, it doesn’t take long for my children to get their work done! How many children will beg to come home?

    I use to love grocery shopping! I now dread it! People are so frightful and well just rude! I do think our state went to having to wear masks, they seem better. The rude was before we had to wear masks. I too, think they are hard to breathe with. I know one thing they are saying we might be back into this again 3 months after letting us back out. I plan to have a stocked home(I do )but I think next time it might be a worse lock down.

    I am enjoying no where to go and enjoying the family more. I also am reading a lot, crafting, making new recipes, sending mail everyday to somebody! I find sending mail can help someone’s day be a bit brighter. I am glad for stocking up on some bookmarks and things to enclose as well. Making some crafty scripture verses too is great to enclose!

    God know all these troubles and will guide us! It is hard not to get discouraged with all the lies, the half truths out there too! We have to keep trusting God.

  11. In a huge place such as America where the virus is rampant, I think you’re probably right. But here in New Zealand, having closed borders, being on full lockdown and practicing social distancing and remaining in our “bubbles” when we must go out, has almost eliminated the virus.

    It has been tough. Very tough. My father has heart failure and although I’ve spoken to him daily on the phone and we do video calls most evenings so he can see the kids, it’s been really hard not to see him. And I’ve been worried that if he does need to go to hospital, I won’t be able to be with him.

    Our restrictions will ease up a bit next week and we will have more businesses open and be able to do online shopping (hopefully this will be enough to be able to save our small shop) but the social distancing requirements will remain in place for some time. It’s really awful, not to be able to see people and hug those I love who don’t live with me.

  12. Our cul de sac hasn’t been this busy since before our “Camp leader” mom moved away! (That woman would plan bbqs, kid games, etc. That’s how we met everyone when we first moved here!). The teen boys are working to restore an old boat, the kids are riding all over, the yards look great!

    I’ve heard about neighborhood crankies. I think everyone has at least one. Our neighborhoods all have lakes that can be fished in. Lots of kids do it. Well, since all this started, we’re hearing about the crankies trying to run the kids off and tell them they’re not supposed to be outside. I know several people have asked the police to speak to them. Ridiculous that they’d even have to. I’d much rather see the kids outside enjoying it than sitting inside with the idiot box (what my Grandpa used to call the TV!).

  13. Just to clarify. People are asking police to essentially tell the crankies to mind their own business.

  14. I have to admit that I can see both sides. My husband has cancer, so he’s in the high risk category, and he’s receiving outpatient chemo. Besides running to hospital for essential appointments, he has been home. I’m happy that our church services were suspended because a woman from our church tested positive for the virus. Could the healthy of us fight off the covid? Yes, but I’m not willing to expose my husband anymore than necessary. So, we wait and use wisdom, trusting God for His provision, His constant care and His protection. God has a plan in all this.

  15. It’s not only the immune system that’s affected. People are depressed, agitated, stressed there’s apparently a lot more domestic violence going on, not to mention the economy. Trump has a huge point when he says the cure should not be harsher than the virus, just think of how many people will die because they won’t be able to buy food or afford proper health care or even by suicide because of the despair they’ll feel in the coming days.

    And experts are warning of the possibility of the second wave. If no one goes outside and very few people get sick, the possibility of reoccurence of the disease once the restrictions are lifted is huge. I’m not arguing for returning to normal, but perhaps opening schools and universities because young people are not at risk that much would be the way to go? And of course, opening of the economy and only giving sick leaves to certain groups of people which are more at risk, people with respiratory issues and people above a certain age limit. No concerts, no movies, limited amount of people in closed spaces, this is all reasonable in my opinion. Complete shutdown is, however, not, and brings more harm than good.

  16. The family can’t call her or write to her? While I think the facility not allowing her to see them through glass is extreme, they couldn’t speak to her in that environment anyway. I doubt the rehab. facility is deliberately being difficult. They are most likely acting out of an abundance of caution with the knowledge of possible law suits from other patients’ families if they contract the virus from outside visitors. Heartbreaking, yes, but also wise if they desire to stay in business!

  17. I absolutely agree that social isolation and social distancing is hurting more than the virus itself. Most stores in my area have now put up those big clear plastic shields at the registers, between cashier and customer. As a stay at home and homeschooling mom, one of the things that brought me joy was going to the grocery store, Target, etc. and chatting with the store staff I had become familiar with. In the short time that the shields have been up, I’ve noticed that the friendly familiarity and the joy of social contact is gone. It’s so sad! I wonder how far reaching the consequences of isolation and distancing are going to be for our society.

  18. I love being home alone and can survive for days on my own. I often choose to be alone for days on end, especially in the summer. I’m never bored, and I read a lot. There are great movies to watch and I can exercise on a treadmill and read at the same time. I feel bad for extroverts who must have contact with people every day. Luckily, that’s not me.

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