Spotty Connection

Spotty Connection Will the pandemic force a reckoning for our relationships? No one can say for sure. But Vivek Murthy, the Surgeon General under President Obama and author of “Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World,” believes we face two potential outcomes.

The first is a “social recession” where it becomes harder to stay connected;

The second is a renewed commitment to strengthen our bonds.

Mr. Murthy joined The Future of Everything Festival for the first in a series of virtual talks, where he discussed America’s loneliness epidemic and strategies to reopen the U.S. economy.

According to Mr. Murthy, there are three ways to foster relationships, even after the pandemic:

  1. Spend at least 15 minutes each day with someone you love, whether on the phone, a video call or even email.
  2. Focus on the quality of the time you spend together by avoiding distractions, including from devices.
  3. Engage in acts of service, such as checking in on a neighbor or calling a friend.

“What comes after this pandemic in terms of our social lives is a story that’s not yet written,” he says. “But we have the power to determine the path we go down.” ■