PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Medical experts say a growing body of evidence shows that loneliness can have negative effects on our health.

In fact, one doctor said the stress from loneliness can be equal to smoking half a pack of cigarettes a day.

The pandemic has only made it worse. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs veterans have really been affected, so they created the Compassionate Contact Corps — a virtual program that pairs volunteers with a lonely or socially isolated veteran.

Prince Taylor, deputy director for the VA Center for Development & Civic Engagement talked more about the program.

To find a location with the Compassionate Contact Corps program visit VA Center for Development and Civic Engagement Home.