By: Thomas G. Bognanno, President and CEO for CHC;
– Many of us now are now sharing a common and almost surrealistic experience with family, friends, neighbors and, in this almost unprecedented instance, with millions across the globe: the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic is impacting every aspect of our lives and immersing an entire world in a sea of uncertainty, fear and anxiety that is fully palpable and yet still difficult to measure.
Daily, every conceivable source from email to news to social media reminds us that the CDC recommends “social distancing” to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus – to “flatten the curve.” Most are complying, but there is a hidden risk that can transform social distancing into social isolation if we are not careful.
Many people understand that social distancing is the best avenue open to us right now to avoid negatively impacting the health of individuals who are most at risk – including the elderly and people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart and lung disease, and other disorders that impair the immune system. There is another risk factor associated with this pandemic that is not as apparent but one that could impact every one of us over time – mental health conditions.
An article in Harvard Business Review by Scott Berinato pointed out the importance of acknowledging and managing our feelings as we try to cope with this global catastrophe. Why? The impact of loneliness and isolation on health and wellbeing is significant – just as deadly as any disease or disorder.