WHO: Getting boozed up will increase the risk of catching coronavirus


Almost as soon as cities and states began imposing lockdowns and businesses around the country (and around the world) were deciding whether to suspend their operations, it got especially tricky for many restaurants. Do they stay open? Do they just do takeout and delivery? That was the answer for many restaurants – stay open but only for takeout/delivery. And not only that, many states began authorizing restaurants to do “takeout cocktails.” It’s only become a thing here in Virginia this month, where you can order to-go cocktails from your favorite restaurant, and they give it to you in a mason jar or to-go cup. I think that’s really cool, actually. And God knows, a lot of us have felt like drinking, or have actually been getting drunk on the reg. I’ve been sober for years and even I thought about getting a to-go mason jar full of booze, or stopping by a local ABC store (the liquor stores have been designated essential businesses across the board, I believe). I stopped myself from drinking because ultimately I know boozing it up won’t help anything. Now we know something else: boozing it up will probably hurt us when it comes to coronavirus:

Drinking alcohol can increase the risk of catching Covid-19 and make it worse if you do get it, the World Health Organization said, recommending that government leaders around the world limit access to alcohol during coronavirus lockdowns.

“Alcohol compromises the body’s immune system and increases the risk of adverse health outcomes,” the WHO’s regional office for Europe said on its site late Tuesday, citing heavy alcohol use throughout the continent. Alcohol consumption is associated with a number of communicable and noncommunicable diseases that can make a person more vulnerable to contracting Covid-19. It can also exacerbate mental health issues and risk-taking behavior and stoke violence, especially in countries that have implemented social distancing measures that largely keep the population quarantined in their homes.

The WHO also published a fact sheet dispelling the “dangerous myth that consuming high-strength alcohol can kill” the coronavirus.

“It does not,” the WHO said, adding that it could result in serious health issues, including death, especially if it’s adulterated with methanol. About 3 million deaths a year are attributable to alcohol without a pandemic driving up consumption. “Therefore, people should minimize their alcohol consumption at any time, and particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the office said.

Americans are nonetheless stocking up. Alcohol sales at U.S. liquor and grocery stores were up 22% for the week ending March 28 compared with the same time last year, according to data compiled by Nielsen. And more Americans are drinking at home, according to financial services company Rabobank, as the market for on-site dining and drinking stands to miss out on $15 billion in alcohol sales over the next two months.

[From CNBC]

I don’t mean to laugh, but OMG the liquor sales!!! I thought people were crazy for stocking up on toilet paper and GUNS during the coronapocalypse, but now people are stockpiling liquor? And that’s why so many restaurants are doing take-out liquor – because that’s a huge chunk of their sales, and liquor is how they make money. Anyway, I know it’s not breaking news that booze is not good for you, especially in a pandemic, but here you go. Liquor won’t kill corona, despite what your liquored-up auntie says.



Photos courtesy of Hudson Marques (Girl licking bottle), JJ Jordan (Regal dude), Burst (hands with drinks), Helena Lopes (woman drinking wine from behind), Adrienn (blonde lady with eyes closed) via Pexels.

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48 Responses to “WHO: Getting boozed up will increase the risk of catching coronavirus”

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  1. Delorean says:

    Oh ffs.

    • (TheOG) jan90067 says:

      I KNOW!!!

      I watch the clock like a hawk, until it’s “Wine Time” lol (If I didn’t set my 5 pm time to have a glass, I could be drinking all day to ward off the anxiety! lol Ok Ok.. I confess…sometimes, I push it down to 4:30, but never earlier). I do have my two glass limit though. But I can sure understand wanting to “forget” this all by staying buzzed.

      I do think they’re talking about BIG drinkers, not 1-2 drink person.

    • Bella DuPont says:

      I really have to nominate this Virus, COVID-19, for some sort of award or prize from hell. Have you ever seen a more complete and thorough buzz-kill virus ever in the history of humanity? They’ll probably soon find out that having sex of any kind significantly increases the chances of having a more virulent form of the disease.

      So, eat healthy, no smoking, no booze, no sex, social distance. Soon to come, no eye contact, no phone calls, no Netflix. Go 19! Such fun. 🙄

      • Paz says:

        ahahahah I mean, as long as you are not getting black out drunk, a few drinks won’t hurt you. I had COVID, and during the time i got the diagnosis i was basically drinking daily, and still had a mild case, so i guess this kind of recomendations are more like “alcoholism is not good for you” on a general basis, with or without corona.

  2. ATLMathMom says:

    On hoarding alcohol…on a random Tuesday morning in late March, I was doing my family’s weekly grocery store run. At the checkout, there was an older couple ahead of me in line – around my parents’ age (late 70s, early 80s), maybe slightly younger. The bulk of their purchase was probably 18 bottles of wine! They had 3 of the 6-bottle carriers!!! Considering this was when the grocery shelves were still relatively empty, I was astounded. Maybe they had all of their adult children staying with them??!

    • (TheOG) jan90067 says:

      I will get 12 bottles of wine at a time; my store gives a discount for a doz. I have 1-2 glasses each evening, and this can last me about 7-8 wks. now that no one is coming over and sharing it.

      • Mac says:

        We stocked up at our favorite wine shop because we knew it would be deemed nonessential. We should be good until June.

      • Christine says:

        I usually buy a case at local wineries and that lasts several months. However, I did stock up on 3 boxes of Franzia for the quarantine lol. I just didn’t want to mess with liquor stores over the next month and sometimes I just need a cheap glass to relax, especially since I’m still having to go into work as an essential worker. I’m stressed!

    • Chaine says:

      The elderly drink a lot. My great auntie is always offering me hard liquor before dinner, then several glasses of wine with, and them a post dinner drink or two. I’ll be soused and she seems barely tipsy. I suppose when you reach nearly a century you’ve got to likker up a bit more to keep the edge off.

      • Bread and Circuses says:

        My sister has some chronic pain issues (fairly mild ones, but she aches), and she has one drink in the evening so she doesn’t need painkillers to get to sleep.

        I’m sure many elders have the same sorts of low level pains, and have figured out the same trick.

  3. Erinn says:

    Well there goes the fun in that lol. I had ordered some wine and just had my order come in yesterday. But I’m also working from home, and only going to the grocery store and pharmacy when necessary.

    I can see why people are drinking more though. Anxiety paired with boredom, then add to that that you need to stay home, so I’m sure people are just trying to make their own fun since they don’t have to be anywhere now.

    It does make sense especially in terms of people being less careful when drinking.Not only that, I suppose risk of accidents in the home could increase and add more stress to the health system at a time when it’s really not needed.

    • lucy2 says:

      That’s what I’m thinking, it can lead to other issues, accidents, etc. If you’re staying home and drinking responsibly, it’s probably fine, but if people are using this excuse to get trashed every day, not good.

      Personally I’m not a big drinker – this whole time I’ve had 1 (big) glass of wine during my virtual book club and then almost fell asleep when we all logged off.

      • Erinn says:

        Yeah – that’s about where I am. We got a growler of beer a few weeks ago and my husband and I split it over a couple days and that was the heaviest I’ve drank in a while. Besides that, I’ve had like 5/6 White Claws that I’d bought before the self isolating started. I just like to have a drink with dinner sometimes, really.

        I AM a very clumsy person without any substances though haha. So I’ll definitely be extra careful.

  4. MeghanNotMarkle says:

    I guess I can be glad that I don’t really drink.

  5. Lena says:

    I think this is mainly being released due to widespread false rumours in former soviet countries that drinking alcohol will kill the virus.

  6. Queen Meghan's Hand says:

    …the WHO is still recommending people who are healthy (do not have symptoms of COVID19) to NOT wear masks so…
    *sips wine*

    • Bookie says:


    • Lena says:

      Well, there are or were already not enough masks for health professionals in many countries so recommending that everyone wears masks likely would lead to even more hoarding , panic and not enough masks for the ones who need them most..

      • Laura says:

        I wear a bandanna over my head when I go out for groceries once a week. I know it doesn’t actually protect me, but at least it keeps my droplets from spreading to others.

  7. runcmc says:

    I guess I’m the only one who’s gonna cop to drinking heavily to cope? My partner and I wait til 5 pm to drink but we make a biweekly liquor store run along with our grocery run. And we aren’t hoarding…we may get a half dozen bottles of wine and a bottle of liquor or two but yeah… we’re drinking them. Life is hard and alcohol helps both of us deal with the stress. We’ve both lost family members in March and f it, I’m going to have my wine. There’s damn near nothing else left to do in Jersey with everything shut down and having lost our jobs and no one is hiring. We walk our dogs, we watch TV, we look for jobs, and we drink.

    • Bookie says:

      Jersey girl here too – thank goodness Murphy deemed liquor stores essential!

      Sorry for your many losses – family, jobs, freedom. Such a stressful time! I will raise my wine glass to you at 5:00 PM this evening from Flemington, NJ, and toast and send good wishes to you for better days ahead.

    • I pet goat 2 says:

      My sincere apologies for your losses, You’ll come out of this, it will get better. Sending you lots of good wishes from over the Atlantic.
      I’ve recently graduated and took a month of to focus on my art, but now I’m getting anxious about finding a job as well. I’ve stopped drinking last year because I found myself self medicating a little too much, and I’m glad I did before this hit – I may have taken it as an opportunity to drink, a lot, I think. Weird times.

    • Amber says:

      My coping mechanism in this time is making craft cocktails. I am enjoying making my way through the Difford’s guide with all these weird, fun drinks I’ve never heard of like the Enrico Palazzo or the Black Manhattan. I was a bartender at a craft beer bar but I’ve since been laid off, so drinking regularly was a part of my life anyway. I am drinking every night, which is more than normal, but I have a two-drink limit for myself and I measure everything out carefully. I mean, Christ, these are unprecedented times. During the Blitz, Winston Churchill used to watch the air raids from the roof with a bottle of champagne and a cigar. He got through two bottles a day, with several Scotch highballs in between, and he led England through her darkest hour. Do whatever you need to cope, as long as it’s safe. And I’m so sorry for your loss.

  8. Vizia says:

    On top of that–for some people being cooped up with others, especially family members, and drinking is absolutely the worst thing they can do. Alcohol and domestic violence are closely tied, and in already tense situations, alcohol is a big ingredient in the recipe for disaster.

  9. Ali says:

    I bought six bottles of wine yesterday for the six bottle discount and because I’m only going to the grocery store every ten days/two weeks (no grocery delivery options where I live). It seemed excessive and slightly embarrassing but I’m with the looking at the clock for a glass of wine crowd. I start cooking, turn on music and pour a glass of wine at 5:00. It’s my (mostly) alone time for the first time all day and I need that break.

    • bros says:

      this is fine. if moderate drinking keeps you feeling less stressed and warm and fuzzy and lowers your stress hormones, then that is good for your immune system. I know my happy hour has shifted back to 4:30.

  10. Reindeer says:

    Guess it’s a good thing I’ve been relying mostly on homemade edibles instead.

  11. paranormalgirl says:

    We have a glass or two of wine or a mixed drink or my beloved bourbon nightly. It’s kind of one of the things that brings a sense of normality to life these days.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      I’m a bourbon girl myself. what’s your brand? Makers Mark used to be my go-to but I really like Larceny.

  12. Case says:

    I only drink on weekends, and even then it’s only one beer or a cocktail, so I’m not promoting getting wasted all the time by any means, but…as long as you’ve been staying home and are able to work at home/get groceries delivered, etc…you’re fine to keep drinking.

    I feel like a lot of the guidelines don’t mention what applies to folks who have well and truly been HOME, just home.

  13. sassafras says:

    WHATEVER. President Trump said this anti-malarial drug cured covid so I’m justified in this giant Gin and Tonic every night. Vitamin C AND quinine! It’s healthy yo.

  14. Kate says:

    Kaiser, just giving you a virtual pat on the back and I’m glad you have been able to resist the urge to buy booze. This is such a trying time for people on the wagon.

  15. Finny says:

    I have neighbors that make their own flavored moonshine. The other day I got a call if I want some strawberry flavored one. The way they sounded they were already tipsy and it was not even lunchtime. I guess they sampled too much. Sadly I have a low tolerance when it comes to alcohol and had to decline. I wish in times like we have right now I could indulge but I barely can handle 1 glass of Pinot Grigio, moonshine would put me in a coma. Cheers to all celebitchies. Stay safe, stay sane!!!

  16. nicegirl says:

    For real though. I don’t need COVID19.

    I’m low key struggling with this as well. Low key I guess bc I’m not yet reaching often for the alcohol choices – but my mind is often remembering that I can . . .

    As in, liquor is easily available to me still & my drs have cautioned me about smoking (for me it’s weed only ever, but still) due to this virus ability to invade interstitial space; I’ve been encouraged by my medical advisor to experiment to find appropriate cannabis edible alternatives. (I have often used weed for ptsd symptoms).

    Though my medical providers all have recommended I avoid alcohol for years now, due to physical health issues and mental health issues, I live with someone who is a drinker and alcohol is readily available in my home -and I have super bad side effects from alcohol use but if I’m super sad, or in pain from bad physical conditions- the thoughts are more prevalent for me, like I know I can make mimosas or lemon drops.

    I ended up reaching out to my drs about how I’m coping, am back into work w my counselor (and have had some medication adjustments), having weekly video counseling sessions and am learning to meditate.

    Sorry for the novel just my 2 cents. I hope you are all safe and healthy. Love my fellow Celebitches.

  17. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Our mayor in Chicago just recently put in place a liquor curfew. Alcohol can no longer be purchased after 9pm. Which is clearly a good idea.

    • Katherine says:

      HA! In Connecticut this is the rule every day pandemic or no (minus bars/restaurants but obv no one going there at the moment)

  18. Laura says:

    I’m a bartender so temporarily out of work. I don’t day drink a lot, but it happens. I’m allowing myself some concessions due to being out of work (we also had to cancel a trip to Ireland due to the virus.
    I’m still eating mostly healthfully, exercising more than I did before, and I switched out smoking weed for cannabutter a couple times a week. I think I can be forgiven for occasional day drinking.

  19. DINA says:

    It is SO incredibly hard to not want to drink during this time. the anxiety, the stress… and i just love craft beers anyway, so i’ve been wanting to just drink and smoke weed and forget about this insane time.. but, maybe it’s time to find alternatives . UGHH

  20. G says:

    well im fu**ed

  21. Kkat says:

    I guess it’s bad that I’m on day 10 of having the virus and I had a huge margarita today 😂🍹💃

  22. Nibbi says:

    Seriously guys, be careful out there :/
    I’m having an occasional glass of wine for “virtual cocktail hour” because what is life in Europe without social drinking?!? But I totally believe that alcohol lowers immune response (not that it’s really even a question of belief, bc the science is there). Seems like the only time I ever get sick with anything, not just a hangover, is in the days after a particularly boozy night, or after a longer period of even light drinking days in a row. Double-edged sword, man

  23. Vivienne Thomet says:

    Well here in South Africa they have banned the sale of booze and cigarettes totally, and then extended the lockdown by two weeks, we have had almost no deaths on the roads over the Easter weekend, people are more desperate for food, and there are many overwhelmed outreach programs by volunteers, but it’s just not enough. Crazy times