In January 2023, the Norwich University Alumni Association kicked off Buddy Check Day, which continues on the 18th-19th of every month. Under the program, the university sends alums an email or text to remind them to contact classmates and friends for camaraderie and to check on each other's well-being. 

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"You don't have to be an expert to notice if someone is going through a difficult time. If you sense changes in someone's behavior or mood and think they might be in crisis, there are ways you can help. The simple act of having a conversation can help save a life," says their web page. 

A New York Times article reported: "Even before the pandemic, the United States surgeon general, Vivek Murthy, said the country was experiencing an "epidemic of loneliness," driven by the accelerated pace of life and the spread of technology into all of our social interactions. With this acceleration, he said, efficiency and convenience have "edged out" the time-consuming messiness of real relationships."

The loneliness problem has spawned countless apps, self-help books, studies, and other quick fixes. Still, even in this world of AI bots promising to make you feel warmer through technology, there is no replacement for reliable human connection. 

The Norwich program provides a powerful example of how to keep a thoughtful eye on those you care about.