Being very young and very lonely in France part II

We are continuing our discussion about Loneliness in the Young French citizenry.

Based on their individual and familiar evolution, the researchers distinguished four basic types of profiles. They are:

I—Inhibited Lonely people

These youngsters have encountered problems during childhood (family or school violence) and suffer of loneliness. Their early isolation has hampered their ability to develop lasting relationships of trust. Defiantly, they only care to have a few friends, and they usually cannot rely on their families. Their primary objective is to access an independent status (employment, lodging, mobility) which is a prerequisite for their social integration.

II—Resigned Lonely people

These youngsters had the same harmful conditioning stimuli than the first group, but their plight extended into early adulthood for which they recoiled into their inner sanctum, i.e. their nuclear families. Safely cocooned there, they seem not to suffer from their isolation, which is of paramount importance for their sense of well-being. They strive to maintain the equilibrium in their family bonding.

III—Assumed Lonely people

These youngsters do not suffer the crippling conditioning in their childhood but when entering their early adult age, they voluntarily decide, for professional, familiar, or geographic reasons, to limit the physical interaction in their friendly network. They feel fine with their arrangements to “have friendship at a distance.”

IV—Wounded Lonely people

These young people were first exposed to loneliness in their early adulthood when they face failure in their studies, work, marriage, etc. They feel “en décalage” vis-à-vis their pairs and believe that they lost friends due to their real or imagined failures. Retreating into the safety of a solid core of vetted friends, they hope to make a comeback after they have resolved their issues and are ready to meet new people.

The terrible worldwide SARS-Cov-2 pandemic, and its associated Social Isolation, for the past two years has significantly compounded the loneliness situation of young people all over the globe, including the more developed societies like France. In an article dated December 7, 2021, Axelle Davezac, General Director of the Fondation de France wrote: “The Public Health crisis has shaken our daily lives, our projects, our relationships with other people. For a year already, another epidemic has stealthily diffused: the loneliness, which hits one person over four. And the youngsters were not spared, as 21% of them have come across a situation of isolation in 2021, and a third of young people claim that they feel alone quite frequently.” Precisely at the very same early age where the cardinal sociability rules and tenets of material independence are cemented, two protracted years of Social Isolation have hit the 15 to 30 years old-age group. She claimed that 21% of young people were in a situation of compromised relationships due to isolation, more than nine points than data from one year before. The quality of their relationships with their entourage had degraded during this period, ushering a feeling of loneliness quite pronounced; one third of the French youngsters said that they usually felt alone, twelve points more than the median for the French population at large.

Note. This reproduction of Toulouse Lautrec’s Une amie de Suzanne Valedon was taken from Wikimedia Commons.

There are two major post-pandemic digital concerns for Very Young People:

I—La peur du décrochage

Many young people in their formative years are experiencing the fear of becoming disconnected, either because access to fast Internet services is often expensive in our societies or they have a tough time to buy the needed software and applications. They feel as if anytime, unexpectedly, a sinister hand could “pull the plug” of their connectivity and leave them totally stranded in the digital pathways of Life.

II—L’angoisse de l’écran

She also had some troubling words for all those that had to endure the attendance of study and college courses through web connections, without any physical interaction with their fellow students and teachers for months on end. She said: “But the anguish has also invaded all those who, alone in front of their screens have experienced growing difficulties to self-motivate, to grasp the content of the courses, to establish contacts with their fellow students and teachers.”

We will continue discussing these critical issues in articles soon to be uploaded.

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

Increased COVID-19 infection in Hispanics

In the USA there has been heated discussions about how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected different socio-economic, ethnic, and cultural groups. Hispanics constitute 18% of the country’s population—representing its largest ethnic and racial minority group—but they account for one in three—33%—of all the confirmed Covid-19 cases where the appropriate data has been collected. They have the highest age-adjusted rates of Covid-19 hospitalizations at 117 per 100,000 and the highest rate of mortality—one in five of the confirmed Covid-19 related deaths with good data.

Carlos E, Rodriguez et al., from the Milken Institute of Public Health at George Washington University and other institutions, studied the publicly available datasets to determine “the differences in county-level characteristics of counties with a greater share of Latino residents that the U.S. average (more than 17.8% of Latino population) compared to all other counties (less than 17.8% of Latino population) Additionally, we examined the association between the proportion of Latino residents and Covid-19 cases and deaths.” The County-level collected data included the following information:

  1. County population
  2. Percentage of Latinos
  3. Percent of residents aged more than 65 years old
  4. Percent of residents under 35 years old
  5. Percent of the under-65 population without health insurance
  6. Occupants per room
  7. Language spoken at home
  8. Ability to speak English

“Fourteen percent of U.S. counties (443/3143) are disproportionately Latino. As of May 11, there were 700.169 Covid-19 cases and 42,674 Covid-19 deaths in disproportionately Latino counties. Up to 91.2% of disproportionately Latino counties (404/443) reported a Covid-19 and 54.4% (241/443) reported a death versus 92% (2484/2700) and 49.4% (1335/2700) in all the other counties.” The incidence of the infection increased with a higher proportion of Latinos, especially in the Midwest and the Northeast regions of the country. The researchers found in the disproportionately Latino counties the following features:

  1. A younger population
  2. Lack of health insurance
  3. Greater number of individuals per room in each household
  4. Fewer number of monolingual English-speaking Latinos
  5. Greater number of monolingual Spanish—speaking or bilingual

Hispanics are disproportionately young and usually work in service industries—like the meatpacking plants—that, deemed as “essential” by the authorities, did not close during the pandemic and were more likely to expose their workers to infection as they demanded the physical presence of many workers clustered in small spaces. The monolingual Spanish speakers were more likely to be healthier, younger, and without the legal residency documents, which limited their access to health care. Moreover the undocumented immigrants are less likely to get the proper testing due to lack of insurance, inadequate coverage, and the ever-present fear of deportation.

The researchers call for more focused and committed policy planning responses to confront the Covid-19 epidemic in Latino communities, as due to structural barriers, the same polices for the general population might be not be as effective with them. They suggest expanding the access to Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance (CHIP) programs for qualified non-citizens because Hispanics usually work in jobs that do not offer employer sponsored insurance and they have difficulty navigating the meandering modern yet highly fragmented health care delivery in the USA. The occupational risk in Latino communities should be studied with reliable data that, not only captures information for laboratory purposes, but also for hospitalizations and death certificates.

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.