TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – This week’s Cate’s Corner addresses loneliness during the coronavirus pandemic.
8 On Your Side’s Keith Cate shares his thoughts and has a message for those who are struggling.
“So, how are you doing? It’s been three weeks since Bay area leaders issued stay-at-home orders. In a world where days can feel like months, that’s a long time, especially for those who are sick or caring for someone who is. Or for those out of work.
My hope is that you’re doing well.
I have to admit, I’ve learned something about myself during this time. Maybe you can relate: I need people.
Last week, when I told you how much I miss seeing my children and grandchildren, hundreds of you responded with similar feelings. You sent me pictures of meeting with loved ones in parking lots, talking to each other from car windows, six feet apart. Thank you for that. We need that kind of creative thinking to keeps our wits about us and avoid the trappings of loneliness.
This week, a new survey revealed 4 in 10 Americans are lonelier now than ever before as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. That’s troubling because loneliness is tied to all kinds of health issues including increased risk of heart disease and stroke. In fact, studies show the lonelier you are, the higher your risk of death. So, it turns out the one thing that keeps us safe from COVID-19 – isolation – has some really bad side effects.
The good news is: You’re not alone. Many of us are feeling a bit lonely these days. It’s to be expected. But don’t let it get you down.
And I know: Some of you watching don’t feel lonely. And that’s great. But I bet you can think of someone who might be.
So I challenge you to do something to help. Call a loved one, set up a video chat, send an email or text, walk outside and say hello to a neighbor six feet apart, arrange a parking lot meeting so you can see someone face to face.
If you’re really struggling, dial 211 and speak with someone at The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. Do whatever it takes to avoid the downward spiral of loneliness.
We are so close to getting through this. Leaders are now talking about how to restart the economy and how to get us back to normal. It’s going to happen. Don’t give up now. Let’s hang in there together.
Be safe, be strong, be well.”