The United Kingdom has appointed a Minister of Loneliness, according to several news reports this month.
In announcing the appointment, British Prime Minister Theresa May said
I want to confront this challenge for our society and for all of us to take action to address the loneliness endured by the elderly, by carers, by those who have lost loved ones — people who have no one to talk to or share their thoughts and experiences with,
As more people live longer than ever, loneliness is compounded by physical infirmities that make social interactions difficult.
As a doctor, I consider loneliness a genuine risk to good health, even if the title of said minister reminded me of Monty Python’s famed “Ministry of Silly Walks.” (Apparently, I was not alone in this thought.)