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Even after 10 month of its outbreak the Novel coronavirus disease is still a threat for the health and well-being of millions of people across the globe. The practice of social distancing has resulted in the loss of connections at both the individual and community level. Although social distancing has helped ...

Even after 10 month of its outbreak the Novel coronavirus disease is still a threat for the health and well-being of millions of people across the globe. The practice of social distancing has resulted in the loss of connections at both the individual and community level. Although social distancing has helped in reducing the spread of Coronavirus, it has also resulted in the steep rise of various psychosocial problems, which are in addition to the already existing psychosocial burden of the COVID-19 disease. The lock-down has not only resulted in the shortage of essential supplies and physical sufferings, but it has also led to the experiences of trauma, anxiety, distress, PTSD, and phobia. People in isolation find it hard to cope with the situation as they do not find their social- support system in place.

While the scientific community is working hard to develop effective treatment and protection measures for the virus, psychologists and mental health professionals advocate using positive psychosocial capitals to build mental immunity against any possible threat and deal with the increased psychological problems emerging form COVID-19. This becomes more important due to the fact that even though the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic might end after a successful vaccine/ treatment is developed, the psychological impact of the disease on the individuals, their families, and communities would stay for much longer.

Among the other psychosocial capital factors responsible for maintaining health and well-being, the social cure has attracted much attention in the last decade. The term social cure has derived out of the health benefits of social connections or social connectedness, which has its root in Tajfel's social identity theory, referring to the notion of `we-ness' in the intergroup relations. It is based on the premise that humans are social animals and are evolved to live in social groups. Researchers have argued that the enhanced feeling of social connection results in closed social bonding, decreased loneliness, increased happiness, self-esteem and life satisfaction. It is also seen to improve emotional understanding and empathy towards the self as well as others. It works as a protective and curative factor in mental health and could be considered a vital psychological resource to help manage and improve health during the present crisis. However, the opposite of the same is also true. People with increased feeling of social isolation exhibit higher physical and psychological health problems. It is therefore pertinent to believe that social connectedness is the key to our increase psychological capital and well-being.

Due to the global restrictions on large scale face to face events and meetings, digital technologies and social media networks have resulted as being a savior for mankind. In the past few months the world has witnessed large scale events organized digitally, unparalleled use of social media channels for interactions and connections with friends, family and community, and the transformation of educational as well as occupational activities into the digital space. It is therefore pertinent to see how social networks and digital technology have helped individuals and communities in making social connections and how this connectedness feeling has helped them experience health and well-being.

The Editors of this Research Topic invite researchers, social scientist, activists and mental health professionals from diverse disciplines to submit works that have investigated the role of social networks, digital technologies and social connections in dealing with the psychosocial crisis and constraints due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lock-down. We also seek contributions in the form of original research articles, brief research reports, reviews, mini-reviews, general commentary, hypothesis and theory, opinion, perspective, and systematic review that offer to make recommendations for developing psychosocial programs for community preparedness for being resilient and bouncing back from the crisis. We especially invite manuscripts that investigate increased resilience due to social situations/networks during these times of social distancing and lockdowns imposed by governments to stop the Coronavirus spread. In addition to original empirical contributions, theoretical papers such as reviews, mini-reviews, perspectives, opinions, commentaries are also encouraged.

This Research Topic aims to generate discussions around the following, but not limited to, themes:

• The impact of social isolation in various risk groups (children and older, women, migrants and poor, ethnic as well religious minorities, people with disability, illness etc.), and the importance of social networks, digital technologies and social connectedness.
• The importance of social media and digital technologies in establishing/ improving social connectedness during COVID-19 crisis.
• Psychological distress due to social isolation/ distancing at the individual, family and societal level.
• The role of social media and digital technologies in maintaining social connections and interactional patterns in individuals' behavioral, cognitive, or affective responses during crisis.
• Social networks and the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and social processes during COVID-19 pandemic.
• The impact of social connections on personal and social well-being and psychological health outcomes.
• Social media, creativity and social connectedness during crisis.

Keywords: Social Cure, Social Networks, Digital Technologies, Social Connectedness, Crisis, COVID19, Psychological Resources, Resilience

Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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