August 3 2020

Lonely in lockdown? You’re not alone. 1 in 2 Australians feel more lonely since coronavirus

By Michelle Lim MAPS, Senior Lecturer and Clinical Psychologist, Swinburne University of Technology

Humans are innately social, and when we are deprived of something, the need becomes even stronger

Many Victorians are now well into their second round of stage 3 lockdown, under which there are only a handful of reasons one can leave home — and for many who live alone, it’s starting to grate.

Under the rules, partnered people are allowed to visit a boyfriend or girlfriend without risking an infringement notice, which may feel unfair to single people.

That’s understandable. Humans are innately social, we all need human connection and we’re used to routine. When we are deprived of something — even for a short time — the need sometimes becomes stronger. (And while I’m talking mostly about the need for human connection, many who live alone are less able than usual to get help from family or friends with practical essentials, such as getting food, care or medicines).

If you live alone — or with others to whom you are not particularly close — it’s important to find different and creative ways to connect with people while still reducing the immediate COVID-19 risk.

And for all of us, it’s time to redouble our efforts to check up on family, friends, neighbours, and colleagues.