When Vivek Murthy accepted the role of Surgeon General under Obama, he thought his main focus would be tackling the opioid crisis and obesity. Instead, he discovered a much larger health crisis, one that connects the sick and the seemingly well: loneliness.
We live in an age steeped in disconnection. As a doctor, Murthy encountered people who struggled with addiction, disease, and pain, and often found loneliness at their very core. But while other illnesses can be more visible, loneliness keeps its sufferers silent. So how can we treat it, and what does it mean to live in this lonely age?