Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Covid-19: mitigating the effects of the pandemic response

Covid-19: social distancing or social isolation?

BMJ 2020; 369 doi: (Published 18 June 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m2399
  1. Rajeev Gupta, chair1,
  2. Rajinder K Dhamija, professor and head2
  1. 1Department of Preventive Cardiology and Internal Medicine, Eternal Heart Care Centre and Research Institute, Mount Sinai New York Affiliate, Jaipur 302017, India
  2. 2Department of Neurology, Lady Hardinge Medical College and SSK Hospital, Delhi 11001, India
  1. rajeevgg{at}

Governments across the globe have promoted social distancing as part of multilevel strategies to tackle covid-19. There is a short path from social distancing to social isolation. Studies have found that social isolation is associated with increased risk of inactivity, smoking, alcohol abuse, unhealthy diet, depression, introversion, poor social skills, and post-traumatic stress disorder leading to greater risks of cardiovascular diseases, dementia, and premature mortality, especially in elderly people.12

In India, …

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