Headline RoundupMay 2nd, 2023

Surgeon General Declares Public Health Epidemic Over Loneliness

Summary from the AllSides News Team

United States Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy declared a public health epidemic over loneliness on Tuesday. 

Key Quotes: “We now know that loneliness is a common feeling that many people experience,” Murthy told the Associated Press. “It’s like hunger or thirst. It’s a feeling the body sends us when something we need for survival is missing. Millions of people in America are struggling in the shadows, and that’s not right. That’s why I issued this advisory to pull back the curtain on a struggle that too many people are experiencing.” Murphy pointed to technology and the COVID-19 pandemic as exacerbating factors of widespread loneliness, stating, “As we shifted to use technology more and more for our communication, we lost out on a lot of that in-person interaction. How do we design technology that strengthens our relationships as opposed to weaken them?”

Details: The report on the surgeon general webpage states that increased social connectivity can decrease the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, dementia, depression and diabetes. According to the report, the loneliness epidemic is especially impacting the 15-24 age group.

How The Media Covered It: Outlets across the spectrum covered the report and declaration, with left-rated sources covering it most frequently. The Washington Examiner cited a national decline in religion and church membership as a contributing factor to social isolation and loneliness, and the Associated Press referenced Americans becoming “less engaged with worship houses,” while BBC News did not include a note on religious decline contributing to loneliness.

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