The Risks of Social Isolation

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Dodger
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The Risks of Social Isolation

Post by Dodger »

Loneliness caused by social isolation has been proven to wreak havoc on an individual’s physical, mental and cognitive health and is linked to adverse health consequences including depression, poor sleep quality, impaired executive function, accelerated cognitive decline, poor cardiovascular function and impaired immunity at every stage of life. According to a study conducted by the American Cancer Society, social isolation also increases the risk of premature death. If this doesn’t make this topic pertinent to all of us, than I don’t know what does.

Over 80% of my friends who are retired expats residing in Thailand live alone and are over the age of 60. According to the experts, these are the most vulnerable people. All seem to be taking pretty much the same approach right now i.e., watching a lot of TV, surfing the internet, chatting on social media, reading books, beating their meat, and walking in circles around their rooms trying to keep their hearts beating. Of course these are all great things to be doing, especially when considering the lack of alternatives, but these activities in-and-by-themselves, may not be enough.

I have one friend who has added another element to his life to help combat loneliness and depression during this crisis which I believe has a lot of merit. Living alone for the past 6 years since retiring in Thailand, and never wanting to have it any other way, he decided that having a live-in companion during this isolation period may have some merit, which set his wheels in motion.

He contacted a Laotian boy he had met previously at a bar in Jomtien Complex who he really liked being with, who had recently lost his job, had no money in his pockets, and couldn’t get home. He offered the boy room & board and a few bucks in his pocket so he could remain fee-earning until this crisis is over, in exchange for his live-in companionship. He apparently told the boy up-front that this arrangement would end when the block-out and isolation restrictions got lifted.

The boy now has a place to live and food on the table, and will have enough money saved when the restrictions do end, that he’ll be able to either return to the working scene or go home. For my friend, he now has someone to share his time with which can make all the difference in the world. The friend I am referring to is a doctor, practicing in Austria prior to retiring in Thailand. According to him, limiting your interactions with one boy during this pandemic presents very low risk. As you would expect, he made sure the boy he selected wasn’t exhibiting any symptoms before extending the invitation. It’s a win-win situation.

I know that some of you will scoff at my friends actions, but, I for one, would do exactly the same thing if I were living alone.

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ceejay
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Re: The Risks of Social Isolation

Post by ceejay »

Dodger wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 1:56 pm
I know that some of you will scoff at my friends actions, but, I for one, would do exactly the same thing if I were living alone.
I don't scoff either. It's a perfectly reasonable thing to do and win-win for both involved.

RichLB
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Re: The Risks of Social Isolation

Post by RichLB »

ceejay wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 2:13 pm
Dodger wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 1:56 pm
I know that some of you will scoff at my friends actions, but, I for one, would do exactly the same thing if I were living alone.
I don't scoff either. It's a perfectly reasonable thing to do and win-win for both involved.
I couldn't agree more. I've often wondered why more guys don't do the same. I hope your post encourages others to think seriously about this option.

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Jun
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Re: The Risks of Social Isolation

Post by Jun »

Dodger wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 1:56 pm
He contacted a Laotian boy he had met previously at a bar in Jomtien Complex who he really liked being with, who had recently lost his job, had no money in his pockets, and couldn’t get home. He offered the boy room & board and a few bucks in his pocket so he could remain fee-earning until this crisis is over, in exchange for his live-in companionship. He apparently told the boy up-front that this arrangement would end when the block-out and isolation restrictions got lifted.
I think that's a really good move. Should be win-win for both parties. Also, telling the lad the arrangement will end after the block out is finished is a good piece of thinking.

The only downside risk would be if the lad is not as diligent in observing restrictions. Obviously health risk goes up with age & there is more incentive for people of a certain age to take care.

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Undaunted
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Re: The Risks of Social Isolation

Post by Undaunted »

I totally disagree. However, I realize that different people need different things. I have always preferred living alone with the exception of a few long term relationships 1- 6 months. At this moment I have a large 2 bedroom place and have had the occasional boy stay over. I don’t like sharing my bed as I know I will not get a good sleep but frankly when they wake up in the the second bedroom I am pleased when they leave.

I remember having a beautiful boy live with me shortly after I moved to Thailand, he spoke some degree of English and was very eager to please and was happy doing nothing and money was not that important to him. Days went by and I soon realized that he could not comprehend my need for “personal space”, knowing he like many Thais were used to village life....eating...sleeping...always with others, till this day I rarely if ever see a Thai eating alone.

Just to get a break I would go to the one movie theater in North Pattaya buy a ticket to the worst Thai movie on display then call him tell him to meet me then I would give him the ticket and go home alone just for time to myself. I go nuts when someone is in my space too long, I am even happy when the cleaning lady leaves and frankly I would have it no other way.

The thing that scares me most is if and when I need someone in that second bedroom :!:
"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

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Jun
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Re: The Risks of Social Isolation

Post by Jun »

I've shared a house for most of my life. However, as the homeowner, I have enough of my own personal space within the property. Also, never in a relationship, so not quite the same thing.

Also, one of the effects of a near lockdown is idle minds watching Youtube. Keep watching & guess what happens......

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMDhAQX ... e=youtu.be

gera
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Re: The Risks of Social Isolation

Post by gera »

Looking for advantages of epidemic is pretty nuts. Unless, of course, one is Russian propagandist. They argue that pandemic exposed the demise of liberal democracies and advantages of dictatorships like Chinese one. If somebody wants isolation, it is fine. One does not need an epidemic for it (especially for retirees who do not have many responsibilities anyway). But bringing bar boy for temporal stay during epidemic is absolutely nuts. Unless one can make sure that the boy does not interact with outside world. And I doubt it is possible. This action increases the risk of getting virus immensely. It is not accidental that it is recommended by pretty much all Health organizations I can think of for senior citizens to isolate themselves even from younger members of their families. Sharing the space with bf is a risk but at least he is somebody one shares the whole life with. I definitely understand that. Bringing the bar boy is absolutely idiotic move under current circumstances.

Dodger
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Re: The Risks of Social Isolation

Post by Dodger »

gera wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:08 am
Looking for advantages of epidemic is pretty nuts..
You would have had a hard time convincing Nelson Mandela of that.

If a person was looking for opportunities (advantages) in his normal life, then why wouldn't he want to do the same if forced into isolation?

(Read "Benefits of Isolation" Post)

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