Published: 4th May 2020

The coronavirus lockdown could profoundly change our sense of community for the better, writes Fay Bound Alberti, reader in History and UKRI Future Leaders Fellow at the University of York. With more than a third of the world’s population in lockdown, there are widespread fears of social breakdown. As a historian of loneliness, I have recently been interviewed by journalists in Brazil, France, Chile and Australia, all pondering the same problems: what will the long-term effects of social isolation be? What techniques or habits might help us learn how to be alone? Or conversely, how do we get away from other people if we are isolated with family, housemates, or an abusive partner? How do we cope with the loneliness of distant relations? Will it be hard for us to integrate back into society when the lockdown lifts? And what if we don’t want to? What if we love being alone and not having to attend social functions? These are … (To read the full article, subscribe below)