Helping Others Breaks the Isolation and Fatigue of Pandemic Times

STONY BROOK, NY, November 19, 2022 – We have heard the message that giving is good for us, adds to our well-being and health, and our understanding of gratitude. Bioethicist, author and Stony Brook University Professor Stephen Post, PhD, heightens this message as we embark on the second holiday season during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“After being caught up behind our computer screens, in our homes, and minimizing our contact and social gatherings with others for months and months, we have lost connections with each other and with communities,” says Post. “Even worse depression and suicide rates are up.”

Post points out our culture of self-reliant individualism often teaches that anyone who gives without calculating the paybacks is a loser. But he contends in the wake of the pandemic the reverse of this appears to be true – now more than ever.

In an interview, Post can provide:

  • Data points as to how much the pandemic has increased loneliness, depression and isolation.
  • How these problems occurred in and affected certain populations.
  • Specific examples include the elderly, and children, most of whom were kept out of school for a long time, stunting their emotional and psychological growth in formative years.

Giving and showing kindness is proven to be healthy, Post says, and such actions around the holidays and during a continued pandemic may be nothing short of life-saving in some cases.

He notes there are multiple studies and models that show how helping others benefits health – from mental health, and physical such as reduced stress and cardiovascular condition.

Post can cite these studies and points out there is evidence that helping others breaks loneliness during this pandemic – something common to all of us at various levels in these times. “We rise when we lift others up,” he says.

He can also provide examples of how society is countering this trend, and what we can all do this holiday season that lifts others up, and ourselves in the process.