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Society

Asia seeks to protect seniors from COVID's silent killer: loneliness

Singapore and Japan learn art of aging well takes more than good diet and exercise

SINGAPORE -- Stroll along Singapore's East Coast Park and you will hear the waves crashing upon the shore, the breeze blowing in your ear, and all the usual sounds associated with a beach. But if you happen to visit early in the morning, you might hear something more unusual: lively Chinese music.

The tunes are played by small groups of seniors -- usually women in their 60s or 70s -- as they practice guangchang wu, or square dancing. At 7:15 on a recent weekday morning, 11 energetic women clad in colorful long-sleeve tops, black jogging pants, and sneakers gracefully executed perfectly synchronized movements. They stop after an hour of continuous dancing and gather around benches to towel down, drink water, and open packets of cookies to share, while chatting about the day ahead.

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