Nefertari Williams: The Epidemic of Loneliness

woman in the desert looking lonely wearing a Santa suit
Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2023

Text by Nefertari Williams, Copyright 2023


The Epidemic of Loneliness 


I have heard more songs about being a strong independent woman more times then I wish to count. No matter how many times I sing them, wear the tee shirts or yell it from roof tops…..  I still, even if it’s just around the holidays or just late at night, must admit that I get lonely.

Everyone gets lonely at times. It’s normal to occasionally feel the desire to talk with a friend or a partner, go out and experience camaraderie with a group whether it’s a sporting event or your neighborhood church.

However some people experience levels of loneliness that have been deemed an “epidemic” according to the WHO (world health organization). Some of our fellow humans are differently abled and unable to leave their homes. They have to depend on the kindness of strangers for food, deliveries and transportation. Even if they have hired help that person may just do their job which is to maybe clean a little, help with medication distribution quick medical checks. But that’s only temporary companionship. A true deep connection is still desired in most of us whether we want to admit it or not.

There’s a song that’s says people who need people are the luckiest people in the world yet here we are living in a world where loneliness it literally making people sick. According to the WHO, loneliness can lead to increased risk of many illnesses including heart disease.

In 2020 a pandemic swept through Earth. Some believe this may have been the start of the epidemic of loneliness however there were whispers and clues way before the horrific pandemic hit.

The thought of those with physical issues that prevent them from leaving theirs home is one cause of loneliness however that doesn’t include those who have social issues (difficulties making social connections). They are our neighbors who may want to have different kinds of connection because they may not be comfortable with small talk or traditional forms of communication. This is where the discussion of sex workers comes in.

Sex work is referred to as “the oldest profession in the world” yet it is illegal in most states. I believe it may be something that should be looked into as a solution to loneliness in certain situations. Yes, there should be regulations and laws maybe even only used as a medical treatment, however, humans need human touch and there are people who are willing to provide it.

This is similar to the legalization of marijuana. It was illegal and caused so many people to lose their freedom yet was a solution for groups who have medical needs raging from epilepsy to anxiety. Advocacy groups began fighting for it legalization and it happened. So far studies show that it does more good than harm.

Now we have an epidemic of loneliness and we have people who need people. Let’s open our minds and our hearts and make sure we consider all opinions so that no one ever has to spend another holiday, cold night or just daily life – without companionship.


About The Author:  Nefertari Williams is a jewelry maker, activist for women with heart disease and the mother of five beautiful children.  She lives in Willingboro, New Jersey.  To access additional articles by Nefertari Williams link here:

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