WASHINGTON—In response to the ongoing loneliness epidemic in the United States, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy warned Americans Monday that they should avoid becoming so lonely that they cry a little when someone washes their hair at the salon. “Whenever possible, we highly recommend preventing an escalation of any individual’s loneliness to the point that a gentle rubbing of the scalp by another human’s fingers makes them cry,” said Murthy, who sported a fresh new haircut and red puffy eyes as he pleaded with Americans to “be proactive about addressing their feelings of isolation and despondency before the very concept of human touch becomes lost to them, and their body no longer recognizes the sensation.” “It’s vital that everyone maintains enough social connection to at least avoid immediately bursting into tears during a routine part of a haircut as you realize in real time that you haven’t felt the hands of another on your skin since long before the pandemic. The longer you isolate, the more likely it is that a hairdresser making gentle contact with your scalp in a way that you’ve experienced 1,000 times before—but not for quite some time—suddenly becomes a viscerally overwhelming sensory experience. Very little in this world should provoke that level of emotional response, let alone a $27 haircut from Great Clips.” At press time, a curled-up Murthy warned against dropping into the fetal position and self-soothing after a barista brushes her hand against yours while taking your cash.
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