Since the start of the statutory lockdown due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, social drinking had greatly reduced by a significant amount. However, social distancing or the compulsory stay-at-home did not deter people from drinking alcohol. The rate of drinking has risen considerably as there have been massive alcohol sales due to the lockdown. Alcoholism is already a major problem in the United States with a record of 14.4 million adults with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), yet the statistics is geared to take an ominous acceleration, and the rate of alcohol diseases is expected to rise considerably.
As scientists and medical practitioners try to curtail the spread of the virus, there have been numerous rumors about the possible solutions to the spread of the virus. Some misconceptions have link alcohol to the elimination of the COVID-19 infection, which has inadvertently led to an increase in sales of alcohol for so-called healthy drinking. What is the real truth behind alcohol and the immune system?
The myth about Alcohol and Covid-19
Alcohol is misconstrued for a preventive measure against COVID-19; this has led to a drastic increase in severe alcohol poisoning in many countries. The myth that alcohol may have detrimental effects on the coronavirus possibly sprung from the adoption of alcohol-based hand sanitizers as the most effective preventive measure against the infection. Since alcohol, as the main constituent of sanitizers, ensures proper hygiene and the elimination of germs, many people wrongly assume that this is the case when drinking alcohol. Due to the abundance of misleading information, it can be challenging finding trustworthy sources that provide reliable guidance on the subject matter, however, drinking alcohol neither hampers the spread of the virus nor has any preventive or curative effect inside the body.
Alcohol and Social Distancing
Social drinking is one aspect that has been affected dramatically by social distancing as bars and pubs are empty due to the lockdown. People are mandated to maintain social distancing by staying home to reduce the spread of the virus. It is expected that social distancing would also decrease the consumption of alcohol. However, this isn’t the case. People have devised means to participate in social drinking through the use of social media. The sales of alcohol are still at an all-time high as people indulge in-home drinking as a pass-time activity. There is little or no consideration to how much alcohol is considered excessive.
Alcoholism during Home Isolation
Some people indulge in drinking due to the feeling of loneliness, boredom, and the need for excitement while spending time at home during the Covid-19 lockdown. The need to carry on social tradition drives many to indulge in home drinking that may last even longer than it would have if they were at a bar. The drinking has also been moved to social media, as many alcohol brands hold a series of offers promoting their products with incentives. Virtual bars create the concept of happy hour with music to give people the feeling of being at a bar, not to mention alcohol social media challenges that encourage the making of videos while drinking specific brands and sharing them online. These sessions also increase the number of hours spent drinking at home.
Medical experts advise on how to drink responsibly during the lockdown. Emphasis is laid on how to limit alcohol consumption by cutting down on daily intake. The prediction is that many more cases of alcoholism and alcohol health issues would arise during the lockdown.
Why Should You Avoid Drinking During The Pandemic?
Some of the basic things to know about alcohol are that alcohol can cause dependencies and affects cognitive functions. However, there is more to the drinking of alcohol during the pandemic. Alcohol weakens a person’s immune system by disrupting immune pathways, causing the person to become susceptible to various illnesses such as pneumonia and the coronavirus itself. A person is less likely to make a quick recovery from infections due to the use of alcohol. The consistent use of alcohol weakens the capacity of the human body to defend itself from diseases and leaves the body vulnerable to health issues such as acute respiratory stress syndrome (ARDS).
With the ever-increasing spread of COVID-19, more people are seeking alternatives to boost their immune system as well as maintaining social distancing. The use of alcohol during the lockdown will only result in severe health issues; in the long run, moderation is advised.