Research by the think tank Demos has revealed that 1 in 4 adults in the UK have not been hugged in the past year. The survey of 1,000 people suggests that people feel they will have less opportunities to build new relationships post lockdown.
64 per cent of those who took part said that they had not made a new friend for six months, while 44 per cent hadn’t done so in more than a year. 13 per cent said they have not been asked how their day was or talked to their neighbours in six months or more.
Demos is calling on the government to tailor public services to ensure that it is easier for people to form new relationships. The think tank is also calling for policies that will make people less reliant on the state.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have invested over £34 million in charities specifically focused on reducing loneliness,” she said.
There’s a real pandemic raging right now. Isolation and loneliness has devastated the wellbeing of millions. Mental health services are on the verge of collapse.
Eating disorders and self-harming are on the rise in children. Look for yourself. Enter the search terms children, eating disorders and self harming and then click the news tab. You’ll be horrified.
A friend of mine who works for the NHS as a counsellor told me yesterday, that if you need therapy and can’t afford to go private, you’ll be waiting more than a year before you see an NHS counsellor. How many people will be lost as a result of that?
How do you explain to people that this is part of a wider agenda? How do you convince them to consider just for a minute, that they must have known what lockdowns would do to public health?
It’s not easy. Most of the people I know weren’t remotely put out to be told by their governments who they could and couldn’t hug and that they couldn’t welcome guests in their homes. They blindly followed the directions no matter how arbitrary they were.
There’s a 10am mass at the Catholic church on Salford precinct this morning. I might pop down. If I do, it’ll be the first time I will have entered a church since making my confirmation. Aye, I haven’t been to mass in 34 years. You want lapsed? I’ll give you lapsed.
I might just light a candle and pray to the Baby Jesus, teenage Jesus, God, the Virgin Mary and the three kings, that the architects of this evil will see justice in this life. To seal the deal, I’ll promise to give up Bacardi every Lent until I die.