The coronavirus pandemic, among many other things, will be known as the era of double same vowels: Zoom, gloom, and booze.
I have no doubt that these examples are related.
Much of our social life has existed on a screen, it’s getting us a little down, and so we drink to keep spirits up.
According to Statistics Canada, nearly 14% of Canadians have increased their consumption of alcohol in March and April. That number is nearly 20% for those aged 15 to 49.
Another poll, conducted by Nanos, found that 25 per cent of Canadians between the ages of 35 and 54 say they drink more now that they’re stuck at home.
Perhaps more alarming, though unsurprising, 68% of Canadians are spending more time on the Internet than pre-pandemic. More than 63% have increased their television intake; 27% are eating more junk food and sweets.
Smoking is the only vice falling out of favour – by 0.1% of the population.
Global drinking has become such a concern that yesterday the World Health Organization weighed in on the matter.
“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,” said Carina Ferreira-Borges, manager of the WHO Europe’s alcohol and illicit drugs program, in a statement.
She seems to be hinting at the prospect that liquor stores should …close? Can you imagine?
For now, liquor stores across Canada remain an essential service.
Ferreira-Borges added that alcohol consumption does nothing to fight COVID-19 and weakens the immune system. Of all the things to be weakening right now – FOMO, one’s grip on reality – your immune system should not be one of them.