How walls and surveillance affect us

Jessica Wapner in The New Yorker:

A few years ago, Tobias Vogt, who studies public health at the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands, decided to investigate whether the fall of the Berlin Wall had extended life expectancy. Vogt compared how long East Germans would have lived if the wall had not fallen with how long they were actually living, two decades later. His study, published in Gerontology, in 2013, found that reunification had extended life expectancy among East German women by four years, and among East German men by nearly six years.

It says more about how being watched, even if we’re on the “good” side of the wall, increases stress and reduces life expectancy.

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