BIG READ: Why loneliness fuels populism
As curbs on socialising return in many countries, we need to examine the link between isolation and the politics of intolerance
White hair. Pink nose. Tail. The mouse is three months old. He’s been in a cage for four weeks in a period of enforced solitude. But today he will get a visitor.
A new mouse enters his cage, “our” mouse sizes him up — there’s “an initial pattern of exploratory activity”, as the researchers running this trial will put it. Then suddenly our mouse makes a startling move. He stands on his back legs, rattles his tail and aggressively bites the intruder, wrestling him to the ground.