Loneliness and social isolation are associated with adverse physical and psychological consequences which are particularly prevalent in older persons. During this unprecedented time of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must follow social distancing guidelines to protect ourselves and to reduce the spread of coronavirus. At the same
time, it is crucial to maintain social connections with each other, especially with older persons, to help cope and reduce the negative consequences of loneliness and social isolation. It is important to develop new strategies (e.g. virtual health care and new government policy) to address loneliness and social isolation among older adults for the post-pandemic era.
The risk of COVID-19 infection is greater for older adults over the age of 60 years who are at a heightened risk of severe illness, hospitalization, intensive care unit admission, and death (US CDC, 2020). According to the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, the case fatality rate (CFR) is about 4% for patients over 60 years old, 8% for patients over age 70 years, and approximately 15% for patients over the age of 80 (Oxford COVID-19 Evidence Service, 2020). This compares with CFR of 0.0026%–0.3% in those under age 45.