I’m Bored, Stressed, and in Quarantine. Can I Have Another Glass or Two?

We all know that being stressed can lead to stress drinking. We also all know that being bored can lead to bored drinking. Now, we have come to know that being in quarantine, can lead to quarantine drinking, with a mixture of both boredom and stress. What a combination!  According to the WHO, there were many myths floating around when the coronavirus pandemic began of which stated things such as “Consuming alcohol destroys the virus that causes COVID-19.”, and “Drinking strong alcohol kills the virus in the inhaled air.”, and “Alcohol stimulates immunity and resistance to the virus.” All of these assumptions are by far not true, however, these have led to an increase in drinking habits due to people believing these myths, as well as mixing it with boredom, stress, panic and uncertainty about the pandemic. Studies have also shown that alcohol and coronavirus are not such a good mix after all and should definitely be kept separate.[2,4]

With the number of locations in the world that have been put under lock-down, with uncertain periods of quarantine, alcohol has been a choice of a lack of other activities to keep us busy. Alcohol is not necessarily a part of our daily diets and should not be a priority on our shopping lists. It is important to be able to understand that alcohol poses risks to our health and safety, especially as women, and so as a general public alcohol should therefore be avoided during long periods of isolation. Alcohol should not be made a part of people’s daily regimen to consume alcohol. It is 5 o’clock somewhere, but after long days of being stuck in the house, try to make a smoothie or other healthy drinking options for a yummy substitute, as well as being able to consume some nutrients for the day. 

According to alcohol distributors there was a reported 50% increase in the sales of alcohol in one week in March compared to the same week last year in 2019.[3] Another surprising fact is that there has been an overwhelmingly 300% increase in alcohol for month of March compared to previous months.[3] This is potentially dangerous when considering that since we have been in an indeterminable lock-down for weeks, in a nation where most people do not have such downtime, even when on vacation, this could cause drinking problems, especially in women who turn that one glass of wine into two, to three, to four, and then multiply that amount times multiple days of the week. With anxiety and stress about the pandemic and job loss all around us, it can be natural for people to want to pour a drink and curb their feelings about what is going on. With alcohol in the mix, it can have an affect on people’s decision making, and even mess with one’s health of which is key to surviving this surge of coronavirus. Adding alcohol consumption during this time can surely exacerbate health vulnerabilities, risk-taking behavior, mental issues, and violence, of which there seems to be a surge of currently as well.[4]

Throughout this pandemic and being in quarantine, women have been dividing their days between coffee hours, taking care of kids, exercising, and alcohol hours. There have even been zoom “happy hours with the girls”, as well as partaking in happy hours that can be at almost any hour, and while there is a higher threshold of alcohol intake for men, women absorb and metabolize alcohol differently, so consuming a certain amount of alcohol would affect a women at a different rate, and her blood alcohol content would most definitely reflect that.[1] This can be dangerous in times like these in that drinking a couple of drinks could relieve the stress and anxiety that we are under, but with women, it could become a real eye opener to how we can go through life and use alcohol to avoid and solve our problems.

When this pandemic is over, what kind of new drinking habits that may have been picked up in quarantine will ensue, and how will we be able to overcome that battle?

This article that told several personal accounts of women who are going through this pandemic and how they have (or have not) incorporated alcohol into their daily routine.




  1. Purtill, C. (2020, April 30). Quarantini Anyone? When Everyday Drinking Becomes a Problem. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/30/us/30IHW-drinking-women-coronavirus-quarantine-habit.html
  2. Reeves, M. (2020, April 6). Hold the “Quarantinis”: Alcohol and Novel Coronavirus Might Not Mix. Retrieved from https://www.globalhealthnow.org/2020-03/hold-quarantinis-alcohol-and-novel-coronavirus-might-not-mix
  3. Stress Drinking: Alcohol Consumption Increases During COVID-19. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://healthcare.utah.edu/the-scope/shows.php?shows=0_p0xim6x3
  4. http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/437608/Alcohol-and-COVID-19-what-you-need-to-know.pdf



Is the Coronavirus Recession Associated with Increasing Mental Health Problems and Alcohol Consumption?

The Coronavirus recession has caused serious repercussions for economies across the world. In the U.S., this crisis has increased the unemployment rate. Although the economic crisis can cause several public health problems, issues related to alcohol consumption and misuse are among the most likely to occur (9). Although currently, there is not known a clear association between financial crisis and alcohol consumption, there is a theoretical rationale commonly referred to as the tension-reduction hypothesis (9). This hypothesis shows that people tend to increase their alcohol consumption after stressful experiences because alcohol is used as a means of relieving adverse emotions resulting from exposure to anxiety (9).


Therefore, in these stressful times of financial crisis, it is essential to study the impact on mental health to prevent alcohol use disorders in society. For this reason, and in order to raise awareness, the World Health Organization has mentioned continuously on different platforms regarding the effects of the pandemic, especially in the areas of mental health and substance abuse, as they can have severe long-term impacts.(1).

To assess the effects of the Coronavirus crisis on individuals, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) conducted a survey during the initial stage of the pandemic. In this survey, 72% of people said that the Coronavirus outbreak had altered their lives. It is interesting to see that women and parents are the groups that have seen the most interruptions in their lives, with percentages of around 74% and 73%, respectively  (3).

Source: https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/report/kff-health-tracking-poll-early-april-2020/


Furthermore, the study shows that 45% of adults mentioned that the crisis had altered their mental health, and 19% of them indicated that the crisis had a significant impact on their mental health. According to the study, Hispanic, African American, and female adults have the highest percentages (3).


Source: https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/report/kff-health-tracking-poll-early-april-2020/

The KFF survey also reveals that 57% of women with young children are more likely to report negative impacts on their mental health than 32% of their male counterparts (2). Besides, the KFF study mentions that 54% of those who have lost income or a job reported negative mental health impacts from anxiety about the coronavirus, compared to 40% of those without financial problems (2).

It is important to note that the pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated the economic insecurity of women, as historically and currently, women have received much lower wages than men. In fact, the KFF study also shows that a much more significant proportion of women worry about unemployment and loss of income due to work interruption caused by the virus outbreak compared to men. This anxiety and worry in people may be deeply linked to other poll results showing that women are more economically affected than men, with 40% and 39%, respectively. These financial problems that women currently suffer can be essential factors for the exponentiation of mental issues and alcohol abuse, considering that women are more likely to experience anxiety and depression than men (8).

Source : https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/report/kff-health-tracking-poll-early-april-2020/

Some reports have mentioned that alcohol sales have increased by nearly 30% more than normal levels during the pandemic (4). This increase in alcohol consumption goes hand in hand with the rise in the unemployment rate.

It is surprising to note that although people have less money to spend on alcohol due to lower wages or unemployment, they are likely to drink more to relieve the stress they feel.
Unfortunately, in times of crisis, the alcohol industry takes advantage of people vulnerable to financial and mental health problems by selling larger, cheaper drinks for people to consume large amounts of alcohol.

The IZEA Worldwide, Inc. report takes a closer look at the effects of quarantine on alcohol consumption for social media users. This report mentions and corroborates an increasing number of drinkers during the pandemic. It also shows that women have increased their wine consumption to a degree equal to the percentage of men (4).



Source: https://ml.globenewswire.com/Resource/Download/62e0b0b6-93bf-4eda-b801-e295409c50f1

These statistical findings show that the pandemic probably has long and short-term implications for alcohol consumption and mental health. If these trends continue, we may soon see a high prevalence of mental health and alcohol consumption problems, perpetuated by a post-pandemic economic recession.

 The government must provide more access to treatments for mental health disorders and alcohol consumption to avoid long-term problems, especially in times of economic crisis. Currently, it is necessary to focus more on strategies and programs to prevent and adequately treat alcohol addiction, mainly in minority groups and women who are the most economically and psychologically affected groups in this pandemic. It is important to recognize that prevention of mental health disorders and alcohol consumption will lead to savings in the cost of treatments.

Therefore, the creation in a post-pandemic era of new approaches to treatment and prevention programs in the area of ​​mental disorders and alcohol consumption is crucial, as this will eventually lead to increased employment, productivity, and social and personal well-being.




2.- https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/report/kff-health-tracking-poll-early-april-2020/

3.- https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/the-implications-of-covid-19-for-mental-health-and-substance-use/

4.- https://ml.globenewswire.com/Resource/Download/62e0b0b6-93bf-4eda-b801-e295409c50f1

6.- https://edisciplinas.usp.br/pluginfile.php/1975319/mod_resource/content/1/realist%20systematic%20review_Sophie%20project.pdf

7.- https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/j.2051-5545.2012.tb00114.x

8.- https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/depression/art-20047725


“Quarantinis”: It’s 5 pm all day, every day!

A martini wearing a medical mask

The COVID-19 pandemic has induced more stress and anxiety than precedented. Honestly, I do not know of anyone who has not been affected mentally throughout this pandemic. There is worry, loneliness, and panic going through many people’s minds throughout the entire world. Unfortunately, others are suffering through grief as well.

The lack of responsibilities, increased time availability, plus the combination of stress all seem to make a perfect invitation for adults to drink more, and Americans have accepted the invitation well.

During the third week of March in 2020, alcohol sales were 55% higher than any week during 2019 in the United States, as gathered by data from Nielsen Holdings, an information and data firm, and reported by the Healio Primary Care System. Additionally, social distancing allowed online alcohol retailers to bask in orders – alcohol online retail business rose 243% by the end of March, once again reported by Nielsen. This is a concern when it comes to women drinking, considering that women typically have higher alcohol blood content compared to men who drink the same type of drinks and an equal amount of drinks, have the same height and weight. Additionally, women tend to drink more often for negative reinforcement, to reduce stress and relax.

Refinery29 interviewed 13 different women about their drinking habits during the pandemic. From reading all 13 responses, I found this one to be the most impactful:

“It is safe to say that alcohol consumption at our house is up, WAY up. And, if I’m really being honest, I’m not even sure why I’m drinking. I’ve never been one of those people who comes home after a long, hard day at work and pours themselves a glass to take the edge off. So why now? I will admit, sometimes playing the roles of employee, mom, wife, teacher, housekeeper, cook, and whatever else life seems to ask of us these days, drinking a glass of wine does seem to make things feel better. Maybe it allows this super type-A lady to relax and breathe. If I think about it, it’s one of the most ‘normal’ things we can do, given everything else that’s going on. It reminds me of better times — times with friends, times with family, and times when we weren’t worried about anything but having fun.” — Rebecca

10 out of the 13 women interviewed said they increased alcohol consumption during some point of the quarantine. For those 10 women, some common motivators for drinking seem to be to reduce stress, boredom, and for the feeling of socialization. Common stressors for many of the women seem to be the lack of separation of job and home responsibilities. They feel that they cannot juggle being employees, mothers, teachers for their children, and housekeepers all at once.

It was concerning how only 1 of the women was cognizant of how alcohol can exacerbate stress and anxiety. Additionally, many women had an inclination that they were drinking too much but excused it because of the pandemic. I know that 13 women are not representative of the entire female population of the United States. Still, I do believe that many women follow similar mentalities as the 13 interviewed.

Another striking discovery during my COVID-19 research was a warning released by the World Health Organization, where it was suggested that countries restrict alcohol access.  Additionally, the WHO. generated an information brochure about the dangers of alcohol consumption and addressed myths and rumors about alcohol as a preventative agent for infection with SARS-COV-2. Instead, the WHO emphasized on how alcohol can suppress the immune system.

One thing is clear: there is not enough information out there to know the reality of alcohol consumption and how it is affecting women. However, there is enough inclination to suggest that if a prolonged quarantine period occurs, the pandemic will exacerbate the narrowing gap of the amount of alcohol consumption between men and women.

For now, enjoy your quarantinis responsibly, and thank you for reading!Bleach Quarantini


Is it abuse or is it coping? Alcohol consumption among women during COVID-19

Imagine yourself as a working-class mom, being couped up into a house with 3 other children and a partner. It’s been a long day of working on a computer, laboring over a screen, scheduling meetings, and making video calls. Now, you have to make dinner for the family after being hunched over a computer and trying to keep your children distracted so that you can work. Do Women Experience More Stress Than Men? - Experience Life

Or imagine the opposite. You’ve been working all day with no one to talk to because you’re living in a one-bedroom apartment by yourself with a pet to keep you company.

What is the definition of alcohol abuse?

Either scenario, you have the strong urge to sit down, and make yourself a glass of wine to wind down or a fruity drink to liven your mood. It’s easy to fall into a habit that chews a bit more off than what we expect. Moderate drinking per the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines moderate drinking where a, a woman can drink up to four drinks a week; for men, it’s five. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines eight drinks or more per week for women as “high risk” or “heavy” drinking.

So what leads women to get to that point? Easy. Women are more prone to stress than the male counterpart, which leads to greater stress in women with the social stigmas associated with being a woman. Those who are mothers will experience greater amounts of stress to be the perfect mother, being able to juggle work, house chores, and the new added responsibility of ensuring students are keeping up with the new home-school work.

What leads to alcohol abuse?

In 2019, reports of binge drinking among women were 12% reporting to have binged-drink 3 times a month, with an average of 5 drinks per binge. At least 2.5% of women have reported being dependent on alcohol in the same year. These numbers are expected to increase as long as stay-at-home orders continue for the year 2020.

Alcohol can be seen as an easy sedative that allows the body to feel relaxed and not to have to worry about being wound up with these responsibilities. The problem with alcohol consumption is that it can also impair your judgment, which can lead to an increased risk of conflict and domestic violence. It also leads to heightened symptoms of panic, anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders.

What to do if you think you are dependent?

So you’ve arrived at the end of the blog post and you think you been misusing alcohol? The best thing to do is to stop, say doctors. But, please seek help, especially if you are dependent on alcohol. 



Strategies for reducing alcohol use or to stop, are to think about the new environment we’re in. Allow yourself to readjust to this new environment. Also, try to reduce the amount you are drinking. Being able to reduce how much you drink shows that you aren’t dependent on alcohol. If you can’t, please seek out professional help that can guide you on how to make the adjustment. But, the worst thing to do is wait until it gets so bad that you can’t see an end.


  1. “Stress Drinking: Alcohol Consumption Increases During COVID-19.” University of Utah Health, 23 Apr. 2020, healthcare.utah.edu/the-scope/shows.php?shows=0_p0xim6x3.
  2. http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/437608/Alcohol-and-COVID-19-what-you-need-to-know.pdf?ua=1
  3. “Women and Stress.” Cleveland Clinic, 13 Feb. 2019, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/5545-women-and-stress.
  4. “Excessive Alcohol Use and Risks to Women’s Health.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 Dec. 2019, www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/womens-health.htm.
  5. Purtill, Corinne. “Quarantini Anyone? When Everyday Drinking Becomes a Problem.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 30 Apr. 2020, www.nytimes.com/2020/04/30/us/30IHW-drinking-women-coronavirus-quarantine-habit.html.
  6. “Drinking Too Much Alcohol Can Harm Your Health. Learn the Facts.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 Dec. 2019, www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm.

Pandemic + Alcohol?: Women, Alcohol, & COVID-19

Alcohol sales rose to 55% in March[4] and 441% in April[1]. A lot of these sales have even shifted to online delivery with many purchases consisting of 1.75 mL of liquor and a box of wine [5]. What drives people to drink during this pandemic? Is it work stress? Financial stress? Fear? Depression? Anxiety? Boredom?

Source: https://stateways.com/2020/04/06/what-alcohol-consumers-are-buying-during-the-covid-19-crisis/

Whatever the case may be, it is important that women, especially, are aware of the health risks associated with alcohol. Alcohol resides in the water of the body. Though, women have less water in their bodies than men. So if they drink alcohol, they will have a higher blood alcohol concentration than a man of the same weight [6]. High blood alcohol concentration over time can result in other major health problems like a weakened immune system, liver damage, and heart disease [6]. These are all factors that can increase a person’s risk of contracting COVID-19 [2].

So what actions should you take, you may ask?

The CDC listed general ways to reduce your risk of getting COVID-19. This includes continuing your medication, having at least a 2 week supply of medications, talking to your healthcare provider about your vaccinations, and more [3]. They also listed actions for each condition or risk factor that could increase a person’s risk of getting COVID-19. The list includes conditions like asthma, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, liver disease, and more [3]. Though, reducing alcohol consumption would be the best first step for those with consistently high blood alcohol concentration levels. It’s prevention that targets the root of the issue. 

How are you utilizing this time at home? Are you drinking with a spouse or family member? Watching TV? Indulging in a glass of wine? Spending time on social media? Staying at home gives us more time to read about different topics and gain awareness about things that heavily affects us as women. Keep note of how you are spending most of your time. Things like watching tv, engaging in social media, and drinking are things that could cause more harm than good. Educate yourself and replace these bad habits with something positive. Keep in mind that alcohol misuse can result in major negative outcomes. During times like this, taking necessary precautions does not only help people reduce their risk of getting COVID-19, but it can also help individuals overcome this condition. So women let’s educate ourselves, get to know our bodies, and refrain from bad habits. No matter how hard life gets, stay positive and put yourself first!


  1. O’Malley, N. (2020, April 30). Report: Alcohol delivery app Drizly up 485% as pandemic sales surge. Retrieved from https://www.masslive.com/massforward/2020/04/alcohol-sales-surged-during-coronavirus-quarantine-as-much-as-441-in-april-report.html
  2. Osbourne, N., & Monico, N. (2020, April 28). Coronavirus (COVID-19) & Alcoholism. Retrieved from https://www.alcohol.org/resources/coronavirus-and-alcoholism/
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020, May 14). People Who Are at Higher Risk for Severe Illness. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/groups-at-higher-risk.html
  4. Polakovic, G. (2020, April 15). Pandemic drives alcohol sales – and raises concerns about substance abuse. Retrieved from https://news.usc.edu/168549/covid-19-alcohol-sales-abuse-stress-relapse-usc-experts/
  5. Swartz, K. (2020, April 6). What Alcohol Consumers are Buying During the COVID-19 Crisis.   Retrieved from https://stateways.com/2020/04/06/what-alcohol-consumers-are-buying-during-the-covid-19-crisis/
  6. Women and Alcohol. (2020, February 24). Retrieved from https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/women-and-alcohol




COVID-19 Alcohol binge: Social Media influence

Alcohol use disorders are usually characterized by heavy alcohol use and loss of control over alcohol intake. People with an alcohol use disorder are at greater risk of COVID-19 not only because of the impact of alcohol on their health but also because they are more likely to experience homelessness or incarceration than other members of the population. Supportively, excessive chronic alcohol consumption reduces the body’s immunity and exposes the body to disease like COVID-19.

Health effects of alcohol

Drunk with filth

Following the ‘shelter in place order’ across the United States, one wonders the impact with regards to alcohol consumption. Reports have suggested an increased use among teenagers and adults as social media users are more likely to increase their alcohol use, finds new consumer research. Alcoholic beverage sales rose by 55% in late March, when many states and public health officials urged residents to stay at home, compared to sales in 2019. While the increase in sales could represent stockpiling for the sheltered weeks ahead, it also signals the potential for alcohol abuse. This is evidenced by 552 U.S. internet users ages 21 and above who self-identified as alcohol consumers and participated in a consumption online study. These were the major findings:

  1. Up to 47% of respondents say that their beer consumption had increased, followed by wine at 37%, and liquor at 30%.
  2. 33% of males reported that they are consuming more beer since COVID-19 lockdown vs. 19% of females.
  3. With regards to age distribution, 44% of consumers aged 21-29years say they are consuming more wine than usual.

In reality, we can attest that the consumption of alcohol is undeniable as evidenced by the story of a grandmother who requested more beer on social media and a beer company supplied her with some packs free of charge. Lol!!!

I am bored and miss my booze

Can I get some!!!

Richie richh!!

I got my heart desire

This suggests that the alcohol companies are also a major key to the puzzle of increased consumption as they are utilizing cheap goodwill publicity like that of the grandmother to manipulate the inert conscience of the public, via the social media platform. This in the end will boost alcohol sales in the long term. Another strategy used by companies to boost sales following the pandemic is through offerings of online happy hours, as this will ensure that people remain on social media platform longer than usual.

Booze snaps

Enjoying lunch break!

It is not surprising at these rising trends in alcohol consumption following COVID19 because almost the entire population are indoors and will lead to over reliance on social media outlets. In modern day society, this has turned out to be the new normal as everyday to day activity is heavily influenced by social media usage. There have been reports on the role of social media on alcohol consumption:

  • About 54% of TikTok users reported consuming more beer as compared to 8% of those who don’t use any form of Social Media. Similarly, Instagram users are 4.3 times more likely to have increased consumption of liquor, 43% of Twitch users say they have participated in an online “Happy Hour” since being impacted by Coronavirus, as opposed to 1.4% of those who don’t use any form of Social Media.
Alternate Water dispenser

New office hours water dispenser

In terms of gender, women are not left out of the equation as a recent study by the American Addiction Center revealed that about 36 % of men and 26 % of women said they’re drinking on the clock especially while working from home. This could be summarized as 1 in 3 Americans drinking alcohol while working from home during the current COVID-19 lockdown as reported by alcohol.org. It is therefore essential, under the current conditions, that people who need help because of their alcohol use get all the support they need. Conclusively, policy and advocacy online groups should consider utilizing the social media platform to re-educate the public on this silent menace.

Boredom paradox

Honey let go cook together

Why women should not rely on alcohol as a stress reliever during the COVID-19 pandemic

The current COVID-19 pandemic presents multiple factors that may induce stress in women. Elements such as job insecurity, disruption of daily routines, unstable housing and negative impacts on 401(k)’s are examples of current stress factors. To cope with stress many people resort to alcohol to assist them through difficult times, as alcohol acts as a downer and sedative making it effective at temporary stress relief(Jones, Dr. Kirtly Parker). Reports from April of this year have shown that alcohol sales had increased by fifty-percent compared to the same time frame a year ago in 2019(Jones, Dr. Kirtly Parker). As a result of stay-at-home orders in effect there has been increased deliveries of alcohol directly to people’s homes(Jones, Dr. Kirtly Parker). With the increased consumption of alcohol in the United States of America it is important to clarify how alcohol affects one’s body and how alcohol may or may not have an impact on the COVID-19 disease. 

In general, there is not a set “safe limit” of alcohol consumption as alcohol can have short and long term effects on most organs in our body with risk of negative health impacts increasing based on the amount of alcohol consumed(World Health Organization). Additionally, alcohol has been shown to debilitate immune systems based on the amount consumed, which can prevent the body from dealing with infections diseases(World Health Organization). Even in minute amounts alcohol can be a risk factor associated with cancer, decision making abilities and negative behaviours for one’s health(World Health Organization). Alcohol also presents a risk to pregnant mothers as it can harm the unborn child and lead to health complications within pregnant women(World Health Organization). In regards to COVID-19, extreme alcohol consumption increases one’s risk for acute respiratory distress syndrome, which is an impediment associated with COVID-19(World Health Organization). 

With all that being stated regarding the risk factors associated with alcohol consumption here are some tips for how to handle alcohol concerning dealing with one’s stress and ensuring their health is not majorly impacted by alcohol. The first suggestion is to abstain from drinking to completely avoid the negative effects of alcohol and sobriety allows one to make clearer and more responsible decisions; however, if one does drink they should not allow themselves to drink to the point they are intoxicated(World Health Organization). Another key thing to remember is to not use alcohol while using any medications as alcohol can make the medication less potent to where it isn’t functional or may make a medication so potent that it becomes toxic(World Health Organization). Lastly, people should avoid using alcohol to deal with stress as drinking can lead to worse symptoms of panic, anxiety, depression and other mental disorders(World Health Organization).

The last bit of information I want to provide is in regards to rumors and misinformation about how COVID-10 interacts with alcohol. One rumor that needs to be put to rest is that alcohol consumption can destroy the coronavirus. Alcohol can be used as an epidermal disinfectant, but does not react the same way when consumed and can cause more harm than good(World Health Organization). Additionally, alcohol can not kill the Coronavirus when inhaled, meaning alcohol is not an effective throat or mouth disinfectant for COVID-19(World Health Organization). Lastly, I want to reiterate that alcohol overall has a negative effect on immune systems; therefore, alcohol consumption may increase one’s chance of complications from COVID-19. 

In conclusion, for women dealing with stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic alcohol should not be used as a go-to stress reliever. Instead people should look to their family or community for assistance. Regardless of the specific source, people should look to and create self-support systems to deal with stress instead of relying on being intoxicated(World Health Organization). 



  1.  World Health Organization. Alcohol and COVID-19: What You Need to Know. 2020, www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/437608/Alcohol-and-COVID-19-what-you-need-to-know.pdf.
  2. jones, dr. kirtly parker. “Stress Drinking: Alcohol Consumption Increases During COVID-19.” University of Utah Health, 23 Apr. 2020, healthcare.utah.edu/the-scope/shows.php?shows=0_p0xim6x3

Why Are All the Bodega’s and Liquor Stores Open?

Why are all the corner stores still open? In my neighborhood, there’s a package store right on Bill Arp Road next to the Walmart. It’s been consistently open every day from 8am to 11pm, including when Governor Brian Kemp issued a “shelter-in-place” mandate on April 2nd, 2020. During this period, Governor Kemp instructed Georgians to isolate themselves except for essential businesses. Kemp did not define what “essential business” meant within his executive order, but can we assume that Liquor stores are not a necessary aspect to any community, right? Should individuals prioritize toilet paper, bread, as well as Tito’s Vodka on their “PANDEMIC-MUST-HAVE” grocery list?

Common Alcoholic Beverages found in Bodegas


We can assume that the American population sees alcohol as a necessity based on data provided by CNN.  CNN noted that “Alcohol sales have increased by 55% during the third week of March” (CNN, 2019).  Following this spike in alcohol consumption, Forbes analyzed the growth of alcohol sales during this time. They noted that Nielsen (a global provider of market research) Vice President, Danelle Kosmal commented that, “28% of frequent on-premise drinkers said they purchased more alcohol in the past month at a physical store, compared to 15% of the average drinker claiming to purchase more at a store”. (Forbes, 2020). It seems like the pandemic and alcohol go hand-in-hand, so where are these liquor stores?  

Remember that package store on Bill Arp Road? It’s located in Douglasville, Georgia. This is an area where 79% of the population consists of Black and Latinx civilians. This package store, along with others, has longer store hours, which allows for more revenue to come in each day. This scenario can be replicated with bodegas in Washington Heights, NYC, an area where 56.3% of the population consists of Black and Latinx communities. Governor Cuomo of New York, “ordered all non-essential businesses statewide to close, in an attempt to curb the spread of infection. Supermarkets, pharmacies, laundromats, gas stations, liquor stores, and restaurants have all been declared essential businesses. They will be allowed to remain open” (New York Post, 2020).  Is declaring “liquor stores” as an essential business beneficial to the communities in which they reside, or is this product of negligence that will overwhelmingly affect this demographic?

Individuals wearing PPE during COVID19 outbreak.

Alcohol consumption is encouraged and enabled onto these communities, which is the same demographic that is being profoundly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. National Geographic reported that one-third of all COVID related deaths have been within the black community. Salud America stated that 26.9% of reported COVID-19 deaths belong to the Latinx demographic. The stress of economic stability, safety, and various racial stigmas are weighing heavily on these communities during this outbreak. This can result in the mass consumption of alcohol to relieve stress and to ignore instability.  Liquor stores and food deserts are exceptionally prominent with PoC neighborhoods, but how can a pandemic be eradicated when basic human necessities aren’t met for those that are most impacted? How do we shift the importance of alcohol accessibility in these neighborhoods, to providing these individuals with culturally competent healthcare, safe living situations, and socioeconomic stability? These questions have a vast amount of credible answers but let’s conclude this post with three facts:

  1. There are more liquor stores in Brown and Black communities than grocery markets, especially in cities with low socioeconomic rates. This is a direct result of gentrification and systematic inequalities.
  2. Liquor stores are viewed as an “essential business” and will remain open in these neighborhoods. These are the same neighborhoods that are genuinely suffering from COVID related deaths. Opening liquor stores, and having them be the most accessible form of barter in this community is negligent.
  3. Racism isn’t just what you say, think, do, and feel. It is also what you allow.” Prioritizing liquor consumption in these areas, over basic human needs like safe housing, quality food, and quality health care allows Racism to be at the forefront during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Image shows population density in inner-city communities.


Renton, A. (2020, May 20th). Coronavirus pandemic: Updates from around the world. Retrieved May 21st, 2020, from https://www.cnn.com/world/live-news/coronavirus-pandemic-05-20-20-intl/index.html

2020 Executive Orders. (2020, April 03rd). Retrieved May 21st, 2020, from https://gov.georgia.gov/executive-action/executive-orders/2020-executive-orders

Micallef, J. (2020, April 06th). How The COVID-19 Pandemic Is Upending The Alcoholic Beverage Industry. Retrieved May 21st, 2020, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/joemicallef/2020/04/04/how-the-covid-19-pandemic-is-upending-the-alcoholic-beverage-industry/

U.S. Census. (2019, July 01st). U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Douglasville city, Georgia. Retrieved May 21st, 2020, from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/douglasvillecitygeorgia

Stokes, D. (n.d.). White Privilege Quotes (87 quotes). Retrieved May 21st, 2020, from https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/white-privilege

Furnari, C. (2020, April 30th). Are Americans Drinking Their Way Through The Coronavirus Pandemic? Retrieved May 21st, 2020, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisfurnari/2020/04/30/are-americans-drinking-their-way-through-the-coronavirus-pandemic/

Warerkar, T. (2020, March 24th). NYC Liquor and Wine Store Sales Are Skyrocketing During Ongoing Shutdown. Retrieved May 21st, 2020, from https://ny.eater.com/2020/3/24/21191721/nyc-liquor-wine-stores-sales-increase-coronavirus

Google. (n.d.). PoC Definition. Retrieved May 21st, 2020, from https://www.google.com/search?q=poc+meaning

Brooks, K. (2014, March 10th). Research shows food deserts more abundant in minority neighborhoods. Retrieved May 21st, 2020, from https://hub.jhu.edu/magazine/2014/spring/racial-food-deserts/

Hidalgo, S., ​Melton, A., McNamee, Caballero-Reynolds, A., Sisti, M., & Barrayn, L. (2020, April 29th). African Americans struggle with a disproportionate COVID death toll. Retrieved May 21st, 2020, from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/2020/04/coronavirus-disproportionately-impacts-african-americans/

Despres, C. (2020, May 14th). Coronavirus Case Rates and Death Rates for Latinos in the United States. Retrieved May 21st, 2020, from https://salud-america.org/coronavirus-case-rates-and-death-rates-for-latinos-in-the-united-states/

CDC. (2020, April 22nd). COVID-19 in Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups. Retrieved May 21st, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/racial-ethnic-minorities.html


The Multifaceted Role of Alcohol and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) during the Covid-19 Pandemic

               Its well known that alcohol has a correlation with intimate partner violence (IPV) with many studies over the years showing this relationship. Alcohol is an aggravator of IPV because of its dis-inhibitory effect on aggression, suppression of a person’s ability to negotiate and navigate volatile situations, while increasing lack of self-control. The United Nations Population Fund recent estimates suggest that at least 15 million cases of IPV will occur due to COVID-19 lock-down measures; and with alcohol sales increasing drastically across the globe during lock-down, there’s bound to be a connection between the two. For relationships already suffering domestic abuse during the pandemic, alcohol adds fuel to the fire, but with all the other stressful factors caused by COVID-19, new cases of violence and abuse could emerge. Alcohol and IPV not only have a relationship with the perpetrator and violence incidents, but also with the victim and their increased likelihood of alcohol abuse.

Domestic Violence Concept In A Family Argument With Drunk Alcoho ...

Alcohol consumption by the abuser during lock-down:

                Since we already know alcohol can aggravate domestic violence, when combined with the isolation, stress, economic anxiety, and unemployment caused by the pandemic and shelter in place orders, perpetrators are more likely to turn to abusive behaviors, taking out stress and anger on their partners. Not only does the rate of abuse increase with alcohol consumption, but also the severity of abuse. With bars and restaurants closed due to lock-down measures, abusers must drink at home, while victims are unable to leave and get away from them, increasing the risk of IPV.

A core component of IPV is the perpetrator controlling and isolating their victim, which the pandemic has created perfect conditions for. Women trapped at home may be unable to call for help due to their abusers’ constant surveillance of their daily actions and phone and/or social media.

Another worrisome fact is that gun sales are also increasing. This fact, combined with increased alcohol consumption, makes the risk of domestic violence related homicide a growing concern. There are already reports across the globe of intimate partner homicides related to factors due to the pandemic.

IPV and lock-down increasing women’s alcohol abuse:

For women in abusive relationship who have alcohol disorders, the pandemic may be worsening their dependence or likelihood of relapse.  Victims of IPV are twice as likely to consume alcohol than their partner who perpetrated the abuse according to a study published by the Institute of alcohol studies. This could be due to how women use alcohol as a means of self-medicating to numb the pain of abuse. Increased IPV and other anxieties already heightened by the pandemic lead to more victim’s turning to alcohol to cope. For recovering addicts such stressors could lead to their relapse during lock-down.

Why Alcohol is Worse for Women |

Furthermore, institutions where victims tend to seek emotional support and moments of freedom from their abusers are now closed, taking away healthy coping mechanisms that reduce alcohol use. It is a Catch-22 situation: COVID-19 stressors increase alcohol consumption by the perpetrator, this alcohol consumption increases violence against their partner, this violence increases emotional stress, and thus alcohol consumption by the victim. A difficult cycle to stop.

For women with alcohol dependencies, an abuser may use alcohol as a method of control, maintaining and enabling the addiction. Financial hardships increase this control if a woman is unable to seek help on her own because of economic or job loss.

Has banning alcohol during lock-down helped?

                Though most countries that have banned alcohol sales during lock down did so for social distancing purposes, a few others implemented bans for the sole purpose of curbing domestic violence. It’s difficult to tell whether such measures have helped due to the many factors associated with IPV, but multiple reports have shown continued increases in IPV during the pandemic even with alcohol bans.  One example being India, where there was a four-fold increase in domestic violence calls from women after their husbands lost their jobs. While with the alcohol ban, there was no significant difference in the number of women seeking treatment due to IPV at hospitals. One program director exclaimed, “There is no difference in their [husbands] treatment of women really. They would abuse the women when they had alcohol, and now they are abusing them because they don’t.” This sentiment portrays the idea that the root causes of IPV need to be address, rather than just blaming alcohol.

Repercussions that could continue after the pandemic:

                The increase in alcohol consumption and IPV during COVID-19 could lead to many consequences that continue on even after the pandemic ends. Unintended pregnancies due to sexual violence could prevent a woman from leaving an abusive relationship. The consequences of alcohol abuse increase among IPV victims could persist as well. If a woman does try to leave the relationship after lock-down ends, it could result in her death since most intimate partner homicides happen when the women tries to leave. With so many unknowns on how exactly the pandemic will negatively impact outcomes of IPV, communities need to be prepared with initiatives to support these women during these times as well as afterward.

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 


Campbell, A. M. (2020). An increasing risk of family violence during the Covid-19 pandemic: Strengthening community collaborations to save lives. Forensic Science International: Reports2, 100089. doi: 10.1016/j.fsir.2020.100089

Centre for Public Health. (2006). Intimate partner violence and alcohol [Fact sheet]. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/violence/world_report/factsheets/fs_ intimate.pdf

Domestic Abuse and Women’s Alcohol Issues. (2020, April 15). Retrieved from https://www.alcohol.org/women/domestic-abuse-and-alcoholism/

Flair, L. N. L., Bradshaw, C. P., Storr, C. L., Green, K. M., Alvanzo, A. A. H., & Crum, R. M. (2012). Intimate Partner Violence and Patterns of Alcohol Abuse and Dependence Criteria Among Women: A Latent Class Analysis. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs73(3), 351–360. doi: 10.15288/jsad.2012.73.351

Institute of Alcohol Studies. (2014). Alcohol, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault. London.

Srivastava, R., & Harrisberg, K. (2020, May 5). Will lockdown alcohol bans affect domestic violence? Retrieved from https://news.trust.org/item/20200505191710-1niva

Stanley, M. (2020, May 9). Why the Increase in Domestic Violence During COVID-19? Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/making-sense-chaos/202005/why-the-increase-in-domestic-violence-during-covid-19

Risk of relapse in times of social distancing

Excessive alcohol consumption, such as binge drinking, is a global health concern among women. According to the CDC, gender differences such as body structure and brain chemistry can cause women to absorb more alcohol and take longer to remove from their system. About 12% of adult women binge drink three times a month, with an average of 5 drinks per binge. The drinking patterns can have adverse effects on the liver, heart, and brain. There are several options in helping reduce the risk of alcohol, one of which is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

AA is an international program for recovering alcoholics where they help those in need through support groups, self-help groups, and abstinence models. It is a way to improve on emotional, mental, psychological, and physical stability and well-being. AA groups support those in need through regular group meetings and are crucial in the recovery program. The initiation of physically going to a meeting, sitting in a chair, and listening to others that can relate to you is powerful. For those who have gone through the program and are on their way to a milestone of sobriety, certain factors can have an impact on relapse. It’s difficult enough to acknowledge the fact that someone might need help and support in alcohol consumption reduction, but now let’s add a global pandemic to the mix…



The pandemic has brought on many changes to lives such as unemployment, self-isolation, quarantine, social distancing, and closing of businesses. These factors can greatly increase stress and anxiety in an individual or in a community. Stress induces structural and functional ramifications on the brain producing altered behaviors in individuals’ coping capabilities. A global pandemic just magnifies these stressful conditions. Stress and anxiety have been found to be important triggers for relapse and they promote increased motivation to drink in some individuals. Studies have shown that for women, marriage and martial stress are triggers for relapses in alcohol.

COVID-19 has placed a financial burden on millions of people as they have filed for unemployment. The stress and anxiety from wondering how they will pay bills, when will they get their job back, or even if they will get their job back, can be a trigger to relapsing. Women who are independent and have to support their children might find comfort in their “mommy-juice” like before. According to Dr. Koob, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Director, physical or social distancing can impact treatment services. Social support is an influential and beneficial reinforcer for helping people avoid relapses. Another trigger to alcohol relapse is that drinking has become a societal norm. Social media is teeming with alcohol ads and memes. The pressure from society that you need to drink to relieve stress can trigger alcoholics into relapsing. Even memes on AA programs have become degraded and seen as a joke for after the global pandemic ends. 



But all is not lost… Even in these trying times, there have been some programs that have migrated towards hosting virtual sessions and have overcome the obstacles COVID-19 has presented. The Atlanta AA program, along with other city programs, have converted to a digital platform devoted to people in recovery. As mentioned earlier, women metabolize alcohol differently than men and this can put them at jeopardy if it’s not managed. Many AA communities have special interest women’s meetings where it might be easier to identify as an alcoholic among other women. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has many great resources on alcohol relapse during COVID-19. The resources include professionally led treatment via phone or video, therapy sessions, mutual support groups, podcasts, and apps.



[1] Becker, H.C. 2017. Influence of stress associated with chronic alcohol exposure on drinking. Neuropharmacology. 122, 115-126.

[2] Burtscher, J., Burtscher, M., Millet G.P. 2020. (Indoor) isolation, stress and physical inactivity: vicious circles accelerated by Covid‐19?. doi:10.1111/sms.13706

[3] Ferri, M., Amato, L., Davoli, M. 2006. Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programmes for alcohol dependence. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. (3):CD005032.

[4] Walitzer, K.S., Dearing, R.L. 2006. Gender differences in alcohol and substance use relapse. Clinical Psychology Review. 26, 128-148.