Combating Loneliness

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Steven Cuneio
  • 23d Wing Chapel

Hello friends, this is Chaplain Cuneio with a thought for the day about loneliness.

Carol Kinsey Goman in her article entitled, Don’t Let Physical Distancing Become Social Distancing, highlighted the guidelines in our present crisis by stating, “Work from home, don’t meet in person - or if you must get together, keep your social distance!” But she also highlighted something else of vital importance by asserting this: She said, “As we increase our efforts to fend off the spread of the COVID-19, we need to watch that we aren’t worsening another threat to public health: and that is loneliness.”

I’ve heard it said, “a great relation has great communication.” And I would agree with that wholeheartedly. We as human beings are social beings, who are wired for connection with others, aren’t we? In our present environment of social distancing, there’s a call for social distancing to be replaced with the phrase physical distancing. Addressed in another recent commentary entitled, “Why are we calling it social distancing? Right now, we need social connections more than ever,” it is stated that “while we must be physically distant, it’s crucial we maintain, or even increase, social contact with others during this unprecedented time.” Simply put friends, we need one another for support, encouragement and most certainly to combat the detriment of loneliness during this season.

To illustrate just how lonely people can be, Charles Swindoll mentioned an ad that was in a Kansas newspaper some time ago.  The ad read, "I will listen to you talk for 30 minutes without comment for $5.00." Swindoll said, "It sounds like a hoax, doesn't it? But the person was serious. Did anybody really call? You bet they did. It wasn't long before this individual who placed the ad was receiving 10 to 20 calls a day…because the pain of loneliness was so sharp, that some were willing to try anything for a half hour of companionship."

Friends, as we fight through these tough days before us and the ensuing weeks ahead of us, yes, adhere to the proper guidelines of good hygiene and physical distancing…do your part; but don’t neglect staying socially connected with others through the wonderful means that are afforded to us. With the incredible technology we have at our fingertips, keep checking up on each other…keep talking, keep communicating, and stay connected. You never know, a text, an email or phone call could be exactly the encouragement someone needs from you today.