The Crisis of the Family, Not Social Distancing, Is Making Americans Lonely

Although it has become commonplace to assume that measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus has caused people to feel more alone, Lyman Stone argues that available statistical evidence suggests that, in general, Americans report feeling no more lonely in 2020 than they did in 2019. But a closer look at the data reveals something else:

Married people were the least likely to describe themselves as lonely in 2019, and 2020 and saw no change in their reports of loneliness from 2019. Separated, cohabiting, and dating people all saw declines in their loneliness indices from 2019 to 2020—but loneliness rose slightly for people with no partner. While people with more children were less lonely than those with fewer or no children in 2019, this gradient became steeper in 2020: people with two or more children were less lonely in 2020 than in 2019, while people with one or no children were lonelier.

In other words, the least lonely people were those who were married with kids, and the loneliness gap between those people and childless singles (the loneliest people, by their own reports) grew wider between 2019 and 2020.

Moving beyond family, in terms of sexual partners, the least lonely people were those with precisely one reported sexual partner in the prior two years.

Combined with the lack of correlation between more sexual partners and loneliness, this suggests that the lower reports of loneliness among marrieds or parents is not simply related to having extra people around, but it is specifically related to having family around.

Read more at Institute for Family Studies

More about: American society, Coronavirus, Family


Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security