COVID-19 and Alcohol Consumption

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Day 197: Stay Safe Minnesota

A recent study found that 14% more Americans are drinking alcohol during the pandemic.

A recent study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) Network found that 14% more Americans are drinking alcohol during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the study, women were drinking much more (up 17 percent compared to last year) and in some circumstances 41% increased in heavy drinking (four or more drinks within a couple of hours).

Some possible reasons to increased alcohol use, based on the social media use, suggests that many people may be using as “quarantinis” or Zoom happy hours as a way to relax during the pandemic. The MPR News reporter Reese Oxner writes, citing Nielsen data, ‘stores sold 54 percent more alcohol in late March compared the year prior’, when bars and restaurants were forced to close due to the pandemic lock-down.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) Europe, there is misinformation spreading around that “consuming high-strength alcohol can kill the COVID-19 virus“. It does not.

Alcohol is consumed in excessive quantities in the European Region, and leaves too many victims. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we should really ask ourselves what risks we are taking in leaving people under lockdown in their homes with a substance that is harmful both in terms of their health and the effects of their behaviour on others, including violence.

Carina Ferreira-Borges, Programme Manager, Alcohol and Illicit Drugs Programme, WHO/Europe.

The WHO) Europe warns that drinking alcohol during the pandemic is dangerous as it may impact body’s immune system.

Alcohol compromises the body’s immune system and increases the risk of adverse health outcomes. Therefore, people should minimize their alcohol consumption at any time, and particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

WHO Europe

“Consuming any alcohol poses health risks, but consuming high-strength ethyl alcohol (ethanol), particularly if it has been adulterated with methanol, can result in severe health consequences, including death”, warns the WHO Europe.

Coronavirus Pandemic Watch

According to the MDH latest tally (as of Oct 9, 11 a.m.) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 109,312 (out of 2,256,165 tested) with 2,121 deaths. According to Johns Hopkins database (as of Oct 9, 2:23 p.m.) there are 7,645,302 confirmed covid19 infection with 213,360 deaths. Globally the covid19 virus has infected 36,706,213 with 1,064,420 deaths.