Christmas, so the song goes, can be the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also the loneliest. Now the government has been urged to adopt a national strategy to tackle what’s being called a “loneliness epidemic”. A cross-party commission set up by the MP Jo Cox before she was murdered says that being lonely is as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. New projects are in the pipeline, including lunch clubs and schemes to match volunteers with lonely people in their area. But what more needs to be done?