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Lonely people don't vote – The Durango Herald

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Lonely people are less likely to vote.

This is proven. A study by Alexander Langenkamp, ​​“Lonely Minds, Empty Booths?: Loneliness, Relationships between Reported Voting Behavior and Voting as a Civic Duty”, social science quarterly It turns out that lonely people are less likely to vote in 2021, especially in national elections.

As the pandemic lockdown dragged on, too often our regulars were political theatrics. Increasing anger and violence against polarized politics has led to new levels of isolation and loneliness. This isolation has made us more receptive to ideas and political tribes that divide us even more.When COVID-19 eased and we moved out of our homes, our public spaces were hostile territory .

We know loneliness is a growing public health concern. It is even very dangerous and has real mental and physical effects. A review of research found that loneliness increases the risk of death by 30% (similar to smoking 15 cigarettes a day).

The Harvard Graduate School of Education’s October 2020 Making Caring Common project found that 36% of Americans (including 61% of adolescents and 51% of mothers of young children) feel “severely lonely.” shown. That study explored the types, causes, and costs of loneliness with a range of physical and emotional problems, including depression, anxiety, heart disease, substance abuse, and domestic violence.

43% of young adults also reported gain Lonely, and half said no one asked how they were doing in a way that made the person feel they “really cared”.

Literature and lived experience are undeniable and definitive. Lonely adults are reluctant to vote, and loneliness is deadly.

Even if it’s vulgar, loneliness remains. But community can heal loneliness. Like the retro days of a close-knit neighborhood, we can re-establish important commitments to each other.

The La Plata County Community Health Action Coalition is actively doing this to reduce loneliness. During the worst of COVID-19, CHAC members called isolated seniors to chat and check-in.

To ease loneliness, one of the CHAC website’s suggestions is to “listen openly to those you disagree with.” Perfect for election season!

Lynn Westberg, CHAC member and former director of San Juan Basin Public Health, said:

And those lonely moms haven’t gone unnoticed.Liza Tregillus is a retired play therapist and co-founder of Cafe au Play, which connects parents with children ages 3 and up. Not only will she have fun, but the purpose of the playgroup is for parents to solve problems together. For generations we have lost that family safety net and extended families often live far away. Invited to create and provide support.

Tregillus also worked with Durango’s Powerhouse Science Center to help bring Science on Wheels to the community so toddlers and their families can walk, meet and play outside.

Tregillus is the one who starts potlucks and block parties and is a true neighborhood cheerleader. We want this grassroots, where neighbors move across their land lines, people cat sit with each other, share benefits from their gardens, and check on their seniors. We appreciate your taking responsible action to create your own community. If you’re feeling so inspired, National Good Neighbor Day is Wednesday.

We can empathize with seemingly petty moments when someone is casually kind and offers us a way out of a dark place for a moment. And when we think jointly, we tend to act jointly. And together we do what matters. like voting.