Pandemic loneliness hitting young people the hardest

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The coronavirus pandemic has impacted all our lives in different ways, but it is hitting young people the hardest for loneliness.

For the best part of the year now, people in the UK have been told to stay at home.

This has caused a separation from friends and family for most of us, making the difficult situation a lot harder.

Young people, University students, and young professionals tend to live alone, or in flatshares, often with people they hardly know.

They have had to rely on video calls to see their friends and family, but face-to-face connection is still needed to help.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced this week his roadmap for easing lockdown, a glimmer of hope for people.

But there will still be social restrictions in place until and maybe beyond June 21, a long way away.

A recent study from the US can give us an understanding of how this is impacting young people’s lives.

This study, by Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, studied 950 Americans, one-third of which reported “feeling lonely”.

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28% of respondents in the study had experienced increases in feeling lonely since before the pandemic. This was mostly from young adults and mothers.

Senior lecturer at Harvard University, Richard Weissbourd, speaking to the Wall Street Journal said: “Young people are lonely.

“They are not anchored to their families and maybe grappling with some life-defining decisions. Since the pandemic, they don’t have access to young people in the same way.”

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According to the study, loneliness for young people in their late teens and early 20s was the highest in adults ages 18 to 65.

61% of young people ages 18 to 25 reported serious loneliness in the last month, compared with 24% in adults aged 55 to 65.

For young people feeling lonely right now, it is important to reach out to close friends and relatives for support.

One of the simplest ways to help with loneliness is to talk to people, the staff at your local shop, neighbours, for example.

It is also important to see your friends, meeting in the park with a coffee can be a safe and fun way to get some normality back. Of course this will have to be done with the government guidelines in mind.

Getting out as much as possible can also help, with plenty of exercises. At the moment Brits can meet one other person outside for exercise.

Now that the weather is getting warmer and the sun is shining for longer, it is the perfect time to get out.

  • Boris Johnson
  • Students
  • Coronavirus

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