Sul New York Times (soft paywall) l’opinionista Nicholas Kristoff propone una riflessione su un tema cruciale per le nostre moderne comunità: come la solitudine influisce sulla nostra salute e quali soluzioni può proporre la politica a quella che appare sempre più come un’emergenza sanitaria.
Loneliness is as deadly as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and more lethal than consuming six alcoholic drinks a day, according to the surgeon general of the United States, Dr. Vivek Murthy. Loneliness is more dangerous for health than obesity, he says — and, alas, we have been growing more lonely. A majority of Americans now report experiencing loneliness, based on a widely used scale that asks questions such as whether people lack companionship or feel left out.
Diversi paesi, fra cui Gran Bretagna, Giappone e Svezia, hanno iniziato a prendere provvedimenti, istituendo figure istituzionali – come a.e. il “Ministro della Solitudine” britannico, per affrontare il problema.
Britain’s anti-loneliness efforts revved up in June, with Loneliness Awareness Week and “Great Get-Together” events across the country to coincide with the birthday of a British member of Parliament and friend of mine, Jo Cox, who helped lead efforts to address loneliness before she was murdered in 2016. Programs ranged from poetry workshops to book discussions and litter pickups, followed by a free drink at the pub.
In Brighton, more than 100 people nibbled on sandwiches and joined a singalong organized by two local charities. “Once you get humans in the room, talking together, the magic happens,” said April Baker of Together Co, one of the nonprofit organizers.