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Theresa May Appoints a Minister for Loneliness

Image via Getty.
Image via Getty.

Ahh, God, the world is bleak!

The New York Times reports that the U.K. government is trying to find a way to grapple with the existential despair of being alive. A 2017 report from the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness has sounded the alarm by sharing that in Britain, more than nine million people “often or always feel lonely.”

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Feeling lonely isn’t just unpleasant; it has documented side effects on physical health such as “cardiovascular disease, dementia, depression and anxiety.” Mark Robinson works as the chief officer at non-profit Age UK, which words with the elderly. Robinson says he’s seen the deterioration of older people who are lonely, but that it doesn’t have to be this way.

“It’s proven to be worse for health than smoking 15 cigarettes a day, but it can be overcome and needn’t be a factor in older people’s lives,” said Robinson.

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Tracey Crouch, who has been working as the under secretary for sport and civil society in the culture ministry, was given the position leading the group battling loneliness. Prime Minister Theresa May announced her appointment on Wednesday:

“For far too many people, loneliness is the sad reality of modern life,” Mrs. May said in a statement.

“I want to confront this challenge for our society and for all of us to take action to address the loneliness endured by the elderly, by carers, by those who have lost loved ones — people who have no one to talk to or share their thoughts and experiences with.”

A worthy cause in a world that feels increasingly alienating. Minister of Loneliness also sounds like a character from an alternate Harry Potter timeline where wizards battle ennui instead of snake magic. Take care of each other out there.

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin

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DISCUSSION

I think this is great, but can you ever see this happening in the US? There’s just no way. When we can’t even agree that old people should have a proper medical safety net and Republicans are trying to do away with any and all “entitlement” programs, when schools refuse to feed kids lunch when they don’t have a few bucks, doing anything about loneliness/feelings of any kind just seems impossible.