With the price of fuel in Lebanon reaching astronomical levels, the vast majority of the Lebanese are struggling. Fuel has gone from something that helps bring people together (transportation, warmth etc) to something that isolates people.
The rising price of fuel has led to a series of chain reactions in Lebanese society which finds itself bordering on complete economic collapse. To make matters worse, there are no social protective mechanisms in place to address citizens’ woes. As a result, people are looking for an escape, adding to the feelings of growing isolation in the country.
Meanwhile, another phenomenon is also fuelling the feeling of isolation —the closure of many popular places which have now turned into empty and hostile spaces. And the Lebanese find themselves imprisoned in these hostile spaces, hungry and cold.
Effects of loneliness
In her famous 1959 article "Loneliness", German researcher and psychoanalyst, Frieda Fromm Reichmann, was one of the first academics to analyse the social and psychological effects of loneliness.
One of her patients described her feelings of loneliness as such: "I don't know why people believe hell is a place where everything burns. That's not hell. Hell is being trapped in your solitude inside a block of ice. This is what I endured.”
A recent study conducted by The American Association of Retired Persons said that the biological effect of loneliness is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. It generally affects the immune system and reduces its resistance to disease.