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Letter: COVID has increased isolation, loneliness

Seniors and students have been particularly hard hit.
Senior Loneliness Isolation bench
Seniors' mental health has been hit particularly hard by COVID, with a rise in isolation and loneliness, this letter writer observes.


As a mental health advocate in Vancouver over the years, since COVID began up until this point in 2022, I have noticed how isolation and loneliness is extremely common among Canadians.

Speaking to seniors who have difficulty connecting in today's society to young people working meaningless jobs only for the money. I have asked co-workers as well if they feel isolated and may do due to social media not really knowing how to approach people due to fears of being labelled or judged.

During COVID, even I felt isolated in many ways. One method I used to cope was volunteering, as well as deep introspection since I had more time on my hands. This worked wonders.

I've witnessed how, at various worksites I worked during the pandemic, workers are not even happy with what they do and feel terribly lonely and isolated as they just come to work, put in the time, go home and repeat the very same thing the following day.

I spoke with a lady in her 60s in Burnaby a while ago and listened as she struggled with affordable housing and isolation and how she feared getting evicted from landlords because they wanted to increase rent prices. I felt really sad because, for many Canadian seniors, isolation, COVID, mental health, as well as a lack of affordable housing, create major issues for them causing loneliness.

I remember speaking with a number of college and university students on mental health, and they told me how a lack of good quality jobs kept them stuck working at restaurants or jobs they didn't really want. They only worked for the money and to pay rent, and they suffered for it since they only worked for the money and felt depressed and hopeless, as many graduates struggle to find good decent work.

I strongly feel government should be putting more resources for mental health, as well as fixing the issue with lack of affordable housing and investing in more quality jobs for younger people as well as increasing the minimum wage.

Brian Jones