When the coronavirus barreled into the U.S. this year, the predominant public health advice for avoiding infection focused on physical isolation: No parties, concerts or sports events. No congregating inside bars or restaurants. No on-site family reunions. No play dates for kids. Just keep away from other people.
Meanwhile, although social scientists supported that medical advice, they feared the required physical distancing would spark another epidemic — one of loneliness, which was already at a high level in the U.S.
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