Covid crisis: how to tackle loneliness?

Covid not only poses a threat to physical health but is also taking its toll on people's mental health. Scientists are observing a surge in levels of loneliness, and a new report published by the EU Commission found that the number of people suffering from feelings of loneliness had doubled during the Covid crisis. European media outlets draw different conclusions about this trend.

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El Periódico de Catalunya (ES) /

Contact is key to well-being

Nuria Oliver and Marina Martínez Garcia, authors of a study on social isolation and Covid, describe their findings in El Periódico de Catalunya:

“The results of the analysis are shocking. We found that more than a quarter of the population report being socially isolated, with middle-aged people (40-59 years) being the most isolated - much to our surprise. These levels of isolation are unprecedented. ... Given the link between social isolation and our physical and mental health, it must be a priority to initiate programmes and measures to help us reconnect with friends and family. ... An intangible but essential asset for our well-being.”

Õhtuleht (EE) /

Mental health in a worrying state

Mental health is now more of a concern than Covid, Õhtuleht finds:

“[The] Covid crisis will soon be over and now the mental health crisis is beginning. More and more people are seeking help. If you can't get to a specialist, then perhaps a self-help book will do the job. There are some that are useful but also some that should have never been published. A confused person is easy prey for charlatans and fake therapists who can make the situation really crazy. It's high time to reform the mental health system so that everyone can get to a specialist without having to wait too long and also receive state support for medication if necessary.”

Cyprus Mail (CY) /

Time to put an end to project fear

The Cyprus Mail explains why the time has come to lift most of the restrictions:

“The excessive caution advocated by scientists might seem sensible superficially, but it is not. Not after two years of the pandemic, during which most people have, literally, been living in fear, a fear propagated and sustained by the government and its scientific advisors, a fear that has caused chronic stress and psychological issues to countless people. ... We need to move on and return to pre-2020 normality for the sake of people's mental well-being.”

Habertürk (TR) /

Depression is infectious

The pandemic and the economic crisis are taking a toll on the mood in the country, especially among young Turks. Habertürk tries to spread a little optimism:

“So much hopelessness is not right. By talking about it with each other, people are spreading pessimism and despair, because this is infectious. ... It makes us and those around us miserable and it only makes things worse. ... No worries remain forever. Think of recent years! All the huge problems and crises we have gone through as a country! Then it all passed, changed, got better. These times will also pass.”

Tages-Anzeiger (CH) /

Home is paradise

Philipp Felber-Eisele, a journalist with the Tages-Anzeiger, says he enjoyed having fewer social interactions:

“Home is paradise, the office is hell. You may now be looking forward to interacting with your colleagues whom you've missed so much once more. But only until you realise that that colleague you always thought smelled a bit before the pandemic still doesn't smell any better. Or that the person at the desk across from yours is still making bad jokes at your expense. ... Life at the office life is pure servitude. At lunchtime you have to eat with people who get on your nerves all day long. ... I praise the home office. This cosy cocoon full of peace and relaxation.”