4/24/2018

Work and the Loneliness Epidemic


On August 24, 1992, in the early hours of the morning, my family and I stepped out of our temporary shelter to find our city — and our lives — forever changed. We had spent the past several hours huddled together as Hurricane Andrew battered our South Florida neighborhood with torrential rain and winds near 170 miles per hour. We saw pieces of homes strewn across the landscape, power lines flung about like pieces of string, and sea creatures stranded in trees, having been blown far inland by the storm.

Like thousands of others, we survived the storm and the many dark days that followed because of the kindness of strangers who brought food, water, and comfort. Hurricane Andrew forged a deep sense of connection and community in South Florida as the nation rallied around us and as we supported each other. But slowly, as normal life resumed, the distance between people returned. We went back to our homes, our work, our schools, and our lives, and once again we grew apart.

Looking today at so many other places around the world ravaged by disasters of all kinds, I think about how often tragedy brings us together — and how fleeting that connection often is....more