Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Alcohol and COVID-19.



It has been claimed that people are drinking a lot more as part of their 'Lockdown' confinement. Looking at published figures, this would seem so; apart from in S Africa where sales of alcohol have been temporarily banned (and probably elsewhere too).

In the USA sales of wine are up 27.6% compared to a year ago. Sales of spirits have increased by 26.4%, and beer/cider by 14%. Overall, there has been an increase in sales of 55% compared to May 2019.

Of course much of this could simply be stockpiling, but research suggests that people (especially women) are drinking more to cope with anxiety and depression.

With many products in short supply, alcohol has become more easily available than either bog paper or eggs. 

Overall, it is claimed that the sale of alcohol worldwide, has increased threefold by 291%, suggesting to some that it could prompt a 2nd major health crisis.

So the question must be, am I (or you) drinking more than usual? My own answer is a definite 'No'. I still enjoy a glass of wine with my evening meal, but no more than that; my days of over-indulgence are long gone, and have certainly not been rekindled by COVID-19.

And you?

63 comments:

  1. Since developing diabetes about 10 years ago, my doctor advised me to seriously reduce my alcohol consumption to 2 glasses of red wine daily.

    I have managed to stick with this and have no intention of increasing it, like yourself, COVID-19 has not increased my desire to return to my previous consumption.

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    1. I'm a well controlled type 2 diabetic, and my Doc' suggested much the same. I don't drink much these days.

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  2. Nope we are drinking less at the moment.

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    1. I don't think my consumption has changed much. It certainly wouldn't go up, and if down I'd die of thirst.

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  3. No - I take some medication that doesn't go well with alcohol so my consumption is nothing and doesn't change

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    1. That sounds very unfortunate... a bit like people who are allergic to Oysters or Lobster.

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    2. A long time now soI got used to it - even a small glass of something makes me go all peculiar!

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  4. You ain't a doctor, are you? If you were you wouldn't expect an honest answer to your question. Whatever you say a doctor will automatically double it. Or, in some bloggers' cases (no names mentioned), most likely triple the amount the patient cares to admit to.

    My own take is that overall consumption hasn't risen. That the stuff is flying off the shelves/sales in shops rising is largely due to the fact that no one can go to their usual watering places; be it your recently mentioned pub, a winebar, a restaurant, a club, whatever. So people drink at home. Same difference.

    U

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    1. I would suggest that a lot of the extra sales are due to stockpiling (as with bog paper).

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    2. It would be so nice, Cro, if - just once in a while - you'd concede that someone's take is at least of interest, maybe even correct. As, in the above, it is [correct] if, clearly, of no interest to you.

      U

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    3. Sorry, I've been at the top of a Palm tree, cutting off the 'flowers'. I've just been passing by fleetingly.

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  5. You will receive a set of comments today which will enable the mapping of the drinking habits of your readers.

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    1. I'm also mapping how often people repeat their comments!

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    2. Try and stick to writing "essays" (on philosophy no less), Rachel. More challenging than stating the obvious. Soon you'll have Bertrand Russell turning in his grave at your vastly superior insights.

      And why such disdain for Cro's other commentators? Considering most of their demographic (and therefore need for medication that allows for little imbibing) their answers probably more truthful than what you'd rather not admit to. As an aside, Rachel: Respect works both ways!

      U

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    3. Take a look at yourself Ursula. I have no disdain for Cro's commenters. If I have disdain for anybody it certainly isn't them.

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    4. Ok, I'll take back what I said. You have no disdain for Cro's (and other blogs including your own) commentators.

      Why do I take it back? Partly because I am perfectly happy to admit (unlike some) that I may have got it wrong. Partly because some people are best left within the confining them limitations of their delusions.

      U

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    5. Judging by Cro's blog's timer it took you ONE minute to read my reply, consider it AND reply. Wow. Let it not be said that manners stand in your way to at least give a resemblance of courtesy afforded to a correspondent.

      U

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  6. Never been much of a drinker. We never finish a bottle of red in one meal - half of it ends up going into a casserole. (And that's one bottle a month, not a week or a day!) Husband likes the odd glass of single malt - he gets through two bottles a year!!
    Lockdown has made absolutely no difference to our drinking habits.

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    1. I do like a 'taste' of single malt in the winter evenings. I get through one bottle a year. I must try harder.

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  7. I did increase our buying of wine before lock-down in case we couldn't get it later which I agree may account for increased sales. The amount we are drinking though has decreased as we are being more careful and keeping a closer eye on it. I am now buying much less than before.

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    1. I didn't 'panic buy' anything at all; not even wine. I think I simply had enough of everything already.

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  8. Same here, I don't like spirits and wine leaves me cold. But I do like cooking with wine and that is what I miss.
    Alcohol does come with a health warning though, and watching my beloved Paul die made it clear, though I never begrudged him his whisky or beer because it made him happy, and surely that for him was enough?

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    1. I cooked a Coq au Vin for last night (even though it was a warm evening). That took care of half a bottle.

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  9. No change in consumption here. Just the usual 2 bottles a night.

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    1. My Doc' said no more than two bottles a night, and I'd only been drinking one.

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  10. I think it's a big temptation to have an extra one or three when you don't have to get up early next day.

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  11. But are they though? How many people popped to the pub twice a week or had a few on a Saturday night. As with retail food sales the figures are up but people aren't eating or drinking in pubs, cafes or restaurants. Hence retail sales would increase even if everyone just drank or ate the same amount.

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    1. Good point!
      I read somewhere that 25% of all meals in London are eaten out so that number are presumably now being shopped for and cooked at home.
      Eating out is the thing I miss most. A take away is just not the same.

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    2. Jean, I once had a friend who actually took out the kitchen in his London flat, and made it into another bedroom. He never ate at home!!

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    3. Statistically some 40 percent of all meals are eaten outside the home. Obviously that includes school lunches, sandwiches bought for lunch etc. Suddenly it's all at home. It's also the reason why some farmers are having to dump milk and eggs etc(they normally supply the commercial sector) where at the same time retail is seeing a shortfall. This because commercial business cannot pack for retail, their machinery isn't set up for it. And the retail bottling and packing plants run on 24 hour shifts already. Suddenly they are trying to do 25 percent or more extra in every day.

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  12. I drink one glass of wine with my dinner and then, maybe another tiny bit after dinner .... like two fingers ! Actually, I think the amount in the first glass has got less since lockdown.... don’t know why. My friend has started buying cocktails but I haven’t got to that stage ........ yet !!! XXXX

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    1. We always sit outside with a glass of wine before supper, then a glass with supper which is usually finished later.

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  13. I believe that I am drinking less alcohol than usual. Each week I buy a few bottles of beer from "Lidl" - usually "Black Sheep" and we have a bottle of New Zealand sauvignon blanc with our Sunday dinner. It's nice to have alcohol-free days when sleep comes very naturally.

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    1. I don't remember when I last had an alcohol free day. I think of it as part of my meal.

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  14. I think we're drinking more often, possibly only a couple of days completely free each week, but it's hard to drink more with two twenty-somethings back home. I'm lucky to get more than one glass out of the bottle, and we'd never open two.

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    1. We never drink during the daytime; our first glass is just before supper, so we never have that much time for over-drinking.

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  15. I can't paint it any better than just saying, yes. A considerable amount more, and I don't really know why.

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    1. One honest person at least.

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    2. I second that. Well, not considerably more, just more on a slightly more regular basis. Hic!

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    3. But never during the day at least.

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  16. They say that sales are definitely up here - but - since there are no restaurants or pubs open I suppose this is to be expected.
    I'm more of a social drinker than anything else a, I do enjoy a nice glass of wine - but prefer to have it along with some company. Since I'm on my own I wondered how I would do. My only trip to the Liquor store was for two bottles of wine to add to my small supply and a bottle of gin. I've had two G&T's and gone through two bottles of wine in the past 9 weeks so not much - although I'm thinking of open another bottle of wine tonight to toast a friend's birthday!

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    1. We shouldn't deprive ourselves, yet we shouldn't be driven to drink through frustration or anxiety. It's a question of limiting ourselves to a reasonable amount. What is 'reasonable' is a matter for the individual.

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  17. I'll be honest. I've definitely been drinking more. It's easy to pour an extra glass or two of wine, or mix and extra G&T, when the evenings stretch out and there's no work to get up for the next morning. I don't get drunk, so I don't have hangovers (I'm too old for that foolishness!) but I'm still probably drinking too much. It's not so much depression or anxiety as it is boredom.

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    1. Hangovers are a waste of time; literally. I don't think I've over-imbibed for decades. I feel sorry for people in tiny tower block flats; that's where the boredom could really drive one to drink.

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  18. Since I usually enjoy drinking wine with friends and I can no longer be with them for the time being, I am drinking much less. There is joy in sharing some fine wines and and it is more the company and the conversations that I miss. Like you, Cro, one glass will do and two is usually too much for me to handle and enjoy (especially the next day). It goes to my head really fast now.

    The places that sell spirits were closed and except for some wineries that would deliver, my state of Pennsylvania was dry. A few weeks ago, it was decided that they would partially reopen the stores for pick-up only. Needless to say, the demand was great and it was very hard to get through to them because the phone lines were jammed.

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    1. I feel very sorry for the winemakers, brewers, innkeepers, restaurateurs, café owners, etc. It doesn't seem fair that they're being punished.

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  19. The odd glass of wine if there is a bottle opened and the odd sherry in the evening if I feel like it - and that's it.

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    1. Don't deprive yourself of that sherry Weave. When I left school, my headmaster gave us a man-to-man talk. Amongst other thing he advised us not to drink spirits; saying that we should leave them to when we were older, when they'd be needed as medicine. I think he was right, my tiny sip of single malt in the winter does wonders!

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  20. Lockdown hasn't changed our drinking habits at all. I have half a glass of wine with lunch and a full glass with dinner.(The glasses are quite small.) Any more than that and I fall asleep on the sofa. Well, I do that anyway but less quickly.

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    1. That's why I never drink at lunchtime. It makes me sleepy, and would ruin my afternoon.

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  21. My coffee drinking has probably doubled. My alcohol consumption has not altered at all except that as I don't go out in the evening (in which cases I never drink because I'm always driving) I might have a drink when I otherwise would not have had one.

    On the subject of increased retail sales a friend who is a manager of an island supermarket tells me that the cheap spirits, wine and beer sales have increased significantly and there is an identifiable customer base from well-known local pub/bar ex-customers.

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    1. I suspect that a lot of people are drinking more Tea/Coffee. Other than being a pleasure, it keeps their hands busy. I know when I Skype people, they often have a cup of Coffee with them.

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  22. Our consumption depends more on the weather. I drink a glass of wine with meals and a few more if we have company. As we haven't had company at meals for months our consumption has definitely gone down.
    I drink far less alcohol when it gets hotter. My glass of wine with a summer lunch is usually replaced by water.
    A glass of red wine though on a summers evening, iced red wine, is most enjoyable

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    1. Yes, my consumption is much the same. A glass before, with, and the rest after, evening meals is about it.

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  23. spouse and I are drinking the same amount. a glass of wine sometimes. spouse has a beer occasionally. I'll drink a gin gimlet when the mood strikes me. but we have never been big drinkers before this.

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    1. We had a workman here recently, so my wife told me to buy beers. He finished the lot, so I must buy more; it's very much cold beer season here now.

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  24. Read this after reading John's post about this one being a 'bun fight'...as an ignorant US guy I'm never sure what a bun fight is, but I have a general idea.
    Yeah, I'm drinking more. I'm in a part of the us that has the highest concentration of covid cases, I try not to get out of the house more than once or twice a week. Yeah, I'm drinking more....and I have numerous other health issues, heart, etc...I'm 74, and if I get the virus I'm screwed. So yeah, I drink. I also have stage 4 colorectal CA, so there is that too....so you maybe see why I think drinking too much is among the least of my worries. Enjoy your posts, even if I comment rarely. Cheers.
    Mike

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    1. As I said somewhere above, we shouldn't deprive ourselves of whatever pleasures we have; especially in these bizarre times. I'm just a year younger than you, and am Diabetic; another risk group. We need to look after ourselves. All the best to you Mike.... stay safe!

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  25. I've just thought that I should drink my wine from a coffee mug while on Skype.

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