Social networks and support networks are important
Different social networks and support networks play a crucial role in people’s feelings of loneliness. Many older people may feel increasingly lonely after their hobbies were put on a break last spring, leading to less contact with people in their everyday life.
“For some, home has been a lonely place to begin with.”
Tiilikainen is also concerned about the situation of family caregivers, many of whom are worried about their own health, in addition to that of the person they are caring for. They are also worried about their own coping, since supporting services have been unavailable for quite some time now.
“We are hearing from associations dedicated to family caregiving that the pandemic has put family caregivers under a lot of pressure.”
Various surveys also show that the pandemic has increased feelings of loneliness among students. Loneliness among young adults was common already before the pandemic. For many, studying has been an opportunity to feel like they belong to a group. Due to the pandemic, however, more and more courses are organised online, even for first-year students. Yet, the first year is crucial for students in order for them to make friends and to become attached to their peer groups and campus cities.
“On the other hand, it has been interesting to see how some students enjoy distance learning and not having to leave the capital region to study elsewhere, for example. Here, too, it matters what kind of support networks students have in their own town or city.”