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Millions of people in the United States suffer life with few people they can trust – WJET / WFXP / YourErie.com

New York (AP) — During the coronavirus pandemic, Karen Gliden’s loneliness became intolerable.

A 72-year-old widow, suffering from vision loss and diabetes and living far away from her relatives, barely left the home of the Michigan Champion last year for fear of being infected with the virus. Finally vaccinated, she was looking forward to going on an adventure when her dog died last month.

It doesn’t help that her circle of trusted friends has diminished to neighbors who rely on helping her shop, go to the doctor, and hang out.

“I feel like I’m in jail most of the time, and sometimes I go out,” said Gliden, an adult child living in California and Hawaii where she was born and raised.

She is not alone in the sense of social isolation.

Millions of Americans suffer from life with few people who can trust their personal and professional support, according to a new study by The Impact Genome. Project and Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Relations Research.

Opinion polls show that 18% of adults in the United States, or about 46 million, can rely on personal help, such as urgent childcare needs, airport rides, and fall support. Answer that there is only or no one. sick. In addition, 28% say they have only one or no trustworthy person to help them create resumes, connect with their employers, and solve workplace challenges.

Isolation is more serious between blacks and Hispanic Americans. 38% of black adults and 35% of Hispanic adults say they have only one or no reliable person to help them navigate their jobs, compared to 26% of white adults. In private life, 30% of Hispanic adults and 25% of black adults say they have no one to trust, but 14% of white adults do the same.

Researchers have long argued that the United States is suffering from a decline in social capital, or the value of personal relationships and public participation.

The General Social Survey, a national representative survey conducted by NORC since 1972, shows that although there is little consensus on the degree of this isolation, the number of people that Americans feel credible is 2000 compared to 20 years ago. It suggests that it has decreased by the early ages or its cause. The rise of social media has added another layer of debate as experts explore whether to expand their networks or seduce people by isolating echo chambers.

The Impact Genome / AP-NORC poll sought to measure how much social capital Americans could count when trying to pick up fragments of life destroyed by a pandemic. The findings suggest that for many Americans, the pandemic lacks any social capital they were doing with it.

Americans have tended to report a decrease rather than an increase in the number of people they can trust over the past year. Only 6% of Americans said their network of trusted people had expanded, while 16% reported it had shrunk. The majority of Americans said the number of people they could trust remained the same, but nearly three in ten called for less support from family and friends for COVID-19. Said.

Jennifer Benz, Deputy Director of the AP-NORC Center, said community ties proved to be important in recovering from disasters such as the 2012 Superstorm Sundi.

However, due to the nature of the pandemic, maintaining these bonds was difficult or even impossible. Schools, community centers, churches, synagogues and mosques have been closed. People couldn’t ask their neighbors or grandparents for help with childcare or other needs for fear of spreading the virus.

According to a new poll, about half of Americans work in civic groups such as religious institutions, schools, and community service groups. And while 42% of all adults said they were less involved with civic groups during the pandemic, only 21% said they were more involved.

“Compared to other ways of leveraging social capital in disasters, the main difference was that this was a disaster where your citizens were supposed to be on their own,” says Benz. I did.

A study from the Pew Research Center suggested an increase in relocation during the pandemic. Some people moved closer to their families, but moved due to unemployment and other financial stress.

Warin Rosso, 29, often moved to pursue financial stability, often at the expense of his social ties.

When he emigrated from the Dominican Republic to the United States five years ago, he left behind the entire family, including his 14 brothers. He worked in a warehouse in Chicago for three years and shared an apartment with his girlfriend. But when the relationship collapsed, he couldn’t afford to move himself. In December 2019, he moved to Jackson, Mississippi, where his childhood friend moved him in.

Rosso said the friend was the only person in Jackson who could trust his help. As the pandemic approached, Rosso struggled in a city with a small Hispanic community.

Through social media, he found a job with a Nicaraguan man who runs the construction industry. After that, he found a training program to get a job as a hospital assistant.

His colleagues are friendly, but he feels isolated. From time to time, he said he frankly asks patients to be helped by non-Latin workers. He hopes to eventually get back a similar job in Chicago, where he has friends.

“We don’t always welcome Hispanics here,” Rosso said. “Here, I am alone.”

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AP-NORC poll of 2,314 adults conducted March 25-April 15 using samples extracted from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak panel designed to represent the U.S. population it was done. All respondents have a sampling error margin of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

Millions of people in the United States suffer life with few people they can trust – WJET / WFXP / YourErie.com

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