The COVID-19 pandemic, its duration, and its intensity are harbingers of demographic change. In the context of social demography, it is crucial to explore the social challenge emerging from the coronavirus disease. The main purpose of this study is (i) to explore the determinants that affected the population in Greece in terms of social isolation during the lockdown period and (ii) to examine possible differences in the assessment of the social isolation factors depending on whether individuals live in urban or rural areas or regions with relative geographical isolation. Field research was conducted with 4216 questionnaires during the first wave of COVID-19 (March to April 2020). Multivariate analysis methods were applied to detect the main factors that impacted the feeling of social isolation, and nonparametric tests were performed to detect possible differences between population groups. Despite the resistance shown to the spread of the disease, the Greek population totally complied with the measures of social distancing and thus was socially and psychologically affected. The results indicate that psychosomatic disorders, employment situations, changes in sleep habits, socialization on the Internet, demographic status, health concerns, and trust in government and the media response determine the Greeks’ social isolation feeling. Pandemic and confinement measures have consequences for individuals and social groups and may prejudice social cohesion at multiple levels. By understanding how the pandemic affected the societies, interventions and public policies may be implemented to ensure both social cohesion and populations’ wellbeing by addressing the social isolation feeling.
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