The world has become a lonely place. With billions of people populating the earth and with technology bridging many gaps, loneliness has to the surprise of many become a pandemic. A shocking, but truthful revelation. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected people in various ways. What started as a biological enemy has reared its ugly head and mutated into other life forms, morphing to become monsters, each in its own league. Loneliness is one such monster. 

Physical distancing and social isolation have affected the young and the old. According to a recent article in the Harvard Gazette, young adults have been the hardest hit by loneliness during this pandemic.

Talk to the old and aged who have been the slowest cohort to embrace technological changes, loneliness has hit them hard. Talk to the fatigued 15-year-old student who sits in her room from 8-3 pm attending a continuous stream of online classes daily and only sees a sea of blank and faceless screens. She feels lonely. Talk to the employee who attends online meetings and has constant work interruptions even during lunch and after office hours. He feels like an isolated automaton. And for those of us who live alone, the pain becomes even more acute. 

When the floodgates of travel restrictions were lifted across the globe, we flocked to the comfort of our family and friends to satiate our long pent-up primordial needs for connection. Differences were willingly put aside. Arguments were happily forgotten. We readily donned on a new set of rose-colored lenses that allowed us to appreciate others and the world in a different light. After all, we had just come from the other side. 

We learned that relationships are salient. I am hypothesizing here but would wager that those who had friends, and I mean those good, trustworthy, thick-and-thin friends would probably have fared better than the ones with surface-level friendship. Facebook and Instagram could never replicate the deep friendships that you develop over a cup of coffee/tea or in the crucible of life’s affliction. 

In this article, we are going to look at five ways (in the tabs below) that could help us build deep and meaningful relationships, an investment with a sure return. Let’s dive in.

Life is nothing without friendship
Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher and Academic Skeptic, who tried to uphold optimate principles during the political crises that led to the establishment of the Roman Empire

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I would love to hear your thoughts or even a story, about what friendship has meant to you and what are some ways you have tried building, meaningful friendships. Leave a comment below.