Experts worried about ‘SILOS’ as loneliness, isolation could worsen during winter

Posted at 9:37 AM, Nov 11, 2020

Isolation and loneliness are symptoms of the pandemic that could only worsen by the winter months.

Experts are worried about the winter and "SILOS," which stands for single individuals left out of social circles.

“Actually, what I saw was that family circles tightened very quickly. And they didn't. The normal friendships with people who weren't in those family pods were being excluded,” said Leni de Mik, a retired psychologist.

“I was telling her about, you know, I worry about my clients being isolated anyway as cancer patients, and the COVID was really impacting them,” said Brenda Hartman, a psychologist.

The women are both single and are encouraging others to form their own pandemic bubbles, just like they did.

They've written six articles on isolation, how to form a bubble and how you can have human connections.

The women worry issues like anxiety, depression and PTSD could intensify with people spending time indoors.

“We're really trying to head off profound mental illness or very strong clinical depression, where people need to be hospitalized,” said Hartman.

The women say to meet with your COVID bubble regularly, even if its virtual, find people with shared interests, and make sure you talk about goals and safety expectations.

“I have another book club that don't, they're not reading the same book. They're all talking about the book that they're reading, which is different. And so, people are being very creative about what they are doing,” said Hartman.

“What we do here. And now for each other or what we refuse to do or are too afraid to do, that becomes part of our legacy, it becomes who we are as human beings,” said de Mik.

Even foreign governments have encouraged people to form support bubbles.

Both women agree community support and helping each other are keys to surviving the mental impact of the pandemic.