During the coronavirus pandemic, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy didn’t exactly emerge as one of the nation’s most prominent public health officials, despite his high profile.
Serious and soft-spoken, Murthy was frequently grilled on cable news and social media by the likes of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s top pandemic adviser, and Dr. Ashish Jha, coordinator of the White House pandemic response team.
But as the epidemic recedes, Murthy has raised concerns about what he first described in his 2020 book. “Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World.
Published weeks after the country went into lockdown, “Together” seems to focus on a post-pandemic world, where the virus itself has diminished as a health threat to many people, and the psychological effects of the pandemic have become more prevalent. It was said.
In recent weeks, Murthy has made two notable recommendations that seek to address the culture of isolationism fueled by the growing reliance on the Internet. While the work he outlines goes far beyond the confines of a single office, Murthy’s focus represents what will likely be of concern to clinicians and policymakers in the coming years.
The only American
“Loneliness is more than just a bad feeling — it affects both individual and community health,” Murthy wrote in a new advisory released earlier this month. “Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Loneliness.
The 82-page document found that American adults have fewer and fewer meaningful relationships outside of immediate family and work—and that the lack of those relationships has serious health consequences. It is similar to a regular smoker..
Murthy writes that the lack of social connections is making Americans “angry, sick and lonely.” In the year If social networks were already being disrupted by economic, social and other forces before the pandemic hit in 2020, lockdowns, school closures and the rise of remote work exacerbated the crisis.
Murthy called on policymakers, business leaders and healthcare professionals to foster a “culture of connection” that treats chronic, unwanted loneliness as a disease. Whether they will pay attention remains an open question.
The ‘epidemic’ of loneliness is affecting a staggering number of American adults (USA Today) >>>
above the screen
Social norms do not emerge spontaneously, rather they are shaped by the values society imparts to the youth.
Advice given in May Sec “Social Media and Youth Mental Health”. Murthy says the growing reliance on social media is causing young adults to have low self-esteem and symptoms associated with anxiety and depressive disorders. Social media platforms also regularly expose teenagers to inappropriate and dangerous content.
“Social media predictors of poor sleep, online harassment, poor body image, low self-esteem and higher depressive symptoms were associated with girls more than boys,” Murthy said, describing a study of 10,000 14-year-olds.
While the 45-year-old surgeon general and father of two acknowledges that social media platforms can enhance “the ability to create and maintain friendships online,” he strongly suggests that we’re not doing enough to consider the dangers of a digital existence. A trend accelerated by the pandemic, millions of children are attending school or even summer camp online.
“Our children and teenagers don’t have the luxury of waiting years until we realize the full extent of social media’s influence,” he wrote. But the popularity of platforms like TikTok suggests that a clean policy solution is out of reach.
Social Media Has Caused ‘Remarkable Damage’ to Democracy, Public Health and Safety: Expert (Yahoo Finance) >>>
An uncertain future
The number of stressors in the lives of Americans can seem overwhelming. From childcare costs to global warming, finding the inner peace necessary for mental well-being can be hard to come by, especially for those who are away from work for a vacation or a few days off. .
The rise of artificial intelligence programs such as ChatGPT can act as an accelerator, which can strengthen social divisions and displace large segments of the workforce.
One answer: helping others. Recent studies have found that volunteering can improve mental health, as well as doing some small part in mending a broken and broken world.
“Service is a powerful antidote to loneliness.” Murthy said recently.