Loneliness around the holidays has always been an issue for some of us, but the coronavirus outbreak has widened the reality of this struggle to include more people than ever. Before the pandemic hit, a study reported that more than 60% of Americans grapple with loneliness. After lockdowns and stay-at-home orders were issued, about a third of Americans reported feeling even lonelier than usual.
Now, nine months into the pandemic, with the holiday season in full swing, coronavirus numbers are on the rise — and so are the stay-at-home orders to combat that surge. How can those who already struggled with loneliness in normal times deal with the increased isolation? How can people who usually rely on companionship with loved ones during the holidays cope with this new loneliness-inducing reality?