How colleges can maintain community during the coronavirus pandemic

A viral pandemic is now the most serious public health crisis in a century and threatens to compound another epidemic that has been ravaging the United States for decades: loneliness.

More subtle and difficult to trace than COVID-19, this affliction is marked by an inadequate sense of belonging, seemingly meaningless relationships, and a life that can feel lacking in purpose. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, “two in five Americans report that they sometimes or always feel their social relationships are not meaningful … one in five say they feel lonely or socially isolated.”

Vivek Murthy, the former surgeon
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