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Health effects of social isolation

Michigan

Have you been feeling down lately? Don’t smile much? Do people get on your nerves faster lately?

There’s a big reason for that.

Melissa Brennan spoke to an expert on the topic and got some advice.

COVID-19 restrictions really hit the U.S. at the end of march– making “normalcy” absent for roughly half a year. And while there are health stressors and financial stressors, even the added political stressors with it being an election year, social distancing has an effect that most people aren’t aware of simply because a majority of people have never had to.


Melissa Brennan spoke with Steve Kozlowski , a professor of organizational psychology at Michigan State University about his research, which primarily focuses on the well being of individuals in groups of people in situations where they’re isolated ,like a research team in Antarctica or a mission group traveling together over a long period of time.

“The teams that we research, they start with high spirits on a mission, and then depending on long duration, 5, 6, to 7 months, much more difficult, and that’s where we’re at as a nation,” Professor Steve Kozlowski said.

“Social friction, the skills to figure out conflicts, as a group well-bonded, they begin to break down and break up into small groups,” Kozlowski said.

Kolzowski said it’s important to be aware of small annoyances or conflicts between the people you are isolated with during our ongoing pandemic.

While stress is high and the future is unknown, he said the best thing to do is talk through issues as awkward as it may be.

He also told 6 News that as a researcher, he believes people will come out of this pandemic with a new view on the outside world. He said whether you like them or not, it can truly put a perspective and appreciation of what else is out there.

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