The “New Normal”

A lot has changed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay at home orders were issued, stocks declined, businesses were forced to close, hospitals were running out of PPE, and even essential supplies like toilet paper were getting sold out. People were and still are, also encouraged to wear masks and stay 6 feet apart. A lot of people are wondering “when will things just go back to normal?”. Though, what is normal? Pastor Steven Furtick from Elevation Church talked about how when individuals are put in situations that they are unfamiliar with, they tend to go back to what they know. To some, that may just cause more harm than good. Hopefully, the outcomes post-pandemic are more positive than the circumstances prior to the pandemic.


Large amounts of money were given to students, those who filed for unemployment, small businesses, and more via the CARES Act. It makes people wonder what actions could have been done by the government previously to stop other issues, especially the issues affecting women. The gender pay gap, treatment gap, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDS), depression, anxiety, and alcohol abuse are just a few things that heavily affects women [4]. 


Women that are already faced with such hardships had to make difficult transitions to discover a reasonable “new normal” during the pandemic. The transition post-pandemic may not make things any easier. With jobs opening back up while schools and daycares remain closed, how are these women coping with such difficult situations? Treatment centers and clinics are starting to allow in-person appointments. Many clinics are taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of patients and hospital staff. Gwinnett Clinic is one place that is taking necessary precautions like enforcing a 3 step screening process and large waiting rooms for social distancing [1]. Though, with the high demand and the fear that some women have, there is a decreased chance of women being able to get the proper treatment that they need. This can lead to women trying to self medicate themselves with the use of alcohol. There are many negative effects associated with alcohol as a stress mechanism in response to COVID-19. Alcohol abuse is one negative outcome that could occur. Especially for women who had previous occurrences of alcohol abuse. 

We previously discussed alcohol abuse but what about recovery? Recovery can be different for every person. Though, it is important that you take time to not only heal physically but also mentally. Psychiatrists anticipate an increase in mental health needs due to COVID-19 [2]. Some of those needs even relate to alcohol-related issues. Also, physically, detox from alcohol may take only 4-5 days[3]. Though, liver damage can take years to repair or can even be irreversible. There are a few resources available to help women dealing with these types of issues. Amatus Recovery Centers is a good place that provides treatment to overcome addiction. “Women are less likely than men to seek professional help for addiction”[5]. So their Women’s Rehab Center provides services and plans specially focused around the needs of women.


Overall, take these last moments in quarantine to reflect on what you learned about yourself. We may not know what’s exactly next for us or what our new normal will look like. Though, aim to surround yourself with positivity by keeping in mind what works best for you. Don’t revert back to old negative habits that just end up holding you back. Whether its seeking treatment, getting into a support group, or picking up a new hobby, find something to incorporate into your new normal that will transform you into a better you.


  1. Gwinnett Clinic. CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) Updates: Gwinnett Clinic – Atlanta, Georgia. (n.d.). Retrieved May 26, 2020 from
  2. Hlavinka, E. (2020, March 24). Psychiatrists Anticipate Mental Health Needs With COVID-19. Retrieved from
  3. Nall, R. (2019, June 10). How Long Does It Take to Detox from Alcohol? Timeline and More. Retrieved from
  4. National Institutes of Health (2016). What health issues or conditions affect women differently than men? Retrieved May 26, 2020 from 
  5. Women’s Rehab Center: Women’s Addiction Treatment Programs. (2020, May 26). Retrieved from

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?


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
  2. Osbourne, N., & Monico, N. (2020, April 28). Coronavirus (COVID-19) & Alcoholism. Retrieved from
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020, May 14). People Who Are at Higher Risk for Severe Illness. Retrieved from
  4. Polakovic, G. (2020, April 15). Pandemic drives alcohol sales – and raises concerns about substance abuse. Retrieved from
  5. Swartz, K. (2020, April 6). What Alcohol Consumers are Buying During the COVID-19 Crisis.   Retrieved from
  6. Women and Alcohol. (2020, February 24). Retrieved from