The COVID-19 pandemic has created a global context in which social isolation has become normative in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission . As a result of social distancing policies, the risk for loneliness and associated decline in quality of life has increased . The current study examined factors associated with loneliness and quality of life during the COVID-19 pandemic cross-sectionally (n = 797) and longitudinally (n = 395). Older age and larger social network size were associated with less loneliness, whereas having multiple physical or mental health diagnoses was associated with greater loneliness . Greater virtual social contact was also associated with increased loneliness . Greater loneliness was associated with all domains of quality of life both cross-sectionally and longitudinally . Understanding factors associated with loneliness is critical to developing effective strategies at reducing loneliness and improving quality of life during the pandemic . Contrary to popular perceptions, older age was associated with less loneliness and more virtual social contact was associated with more loneliness . Thus, it may be prudent to deemphasize virtual social contact in public campaigns and to emphasize safe methods of interacting in person.