Confined but not alone
Isabelle Albert, researcher at the University of Luxembourg, shares the difference between loneliness and isolation. Emotional loneliness is about feeling lonely, which is very different from social isolation. Some people may feel lonely even though they are surrounded by family or friends. If loneliness can reach us all, it is true that the elderly are more exposed to it. As the years go by, the loss of a partner, of friends or mobility issues are all factors that can increase the risk of feeling lonely.
This period of confinement is therefore not without risk for the most vulnerable persons. Isabelle Albert is particularly worried about those who already suffered from loneliness before the implementation of the social distancing measures. The simple daily interactions that they could enjoy are no longer possible.
Maintaining proximity through technology
However, everything does not look bleak. Technology can play a real role here. A phone call, a video chat, a few photos, the opportunities to share our daily life with our loved ones are not lacking and should be used to maintain proximity.
Cooped up in our homes, we all try to maintain some kind of social bond. We meet at our windows to applaud the front-line medical staff, we organize virtual drinks and coffee breaks with our friends and we are more concerned than ever about our loved ones. Here lies the paradox of our situation. Isolated, our community feels more united than ever.