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How deadly is COVID-19?
It’s hard to get an exact fatality rate because of the nature of the virus and of asymptomatic carriers — but if, at the beginning of the pandemic, conservatives told liberals that two years of “two weeks to slow the spread” lockdowns would be as deadly as smoking 12 cigarettes a day, would they still be touting them?
Because that is what President Joe Biden’s surgeon general is now admitting, quietly.
Dr. Vivek Murthy’s office issued a report Tuesday that found “widespread” loneliness is as deadly as smoking more than a half-a-pack a day, with The Associated Press characterizing loneliness as “the latest public health epidemic.”
“We now know that loneliness is a common feeling that many people experience. It’s like hunger or thirst. It’s a feeling the body sends us when something we need for survival is missing,” Murthy said in an AP interview.
“Millions of people in America are struggling in the shadows, and that’s not right,” he said. “That’s why I issued this advisory to pull back the curtain on a struggle that too many people are experiencing.”
The loneliness isn’t solely pandemic-induced. As the AP noted, Americans “have become less engaged with worship houses, community organizations and even their own family members in recent decades,” with about half of U.S. adults saying they’ve experienced episodes of loneliness.
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