We recently mentioned that U.S. alcohol sales are way up since the COVID-19 quarantine initiative began throughout the country. Well, interestingly enough, those statistics have become so concerning that the World Health Organization (or WHO) is issuing a social media campaign to warn Americans about overdoing their booze consumption.
Tweets, Facebook posts and articles have been released by WHO, urging people to stay educated about the dangers of alcohol. They are also aiming to dispel myths that drinking can help ward off coronavirus symptoms.
The most helpful piece of information comes in the form of fact sheet, that clearly outlines the dangers people put themselves in when they consume too much alcohol. As we’ve stated before in our blogs, drinking too much can actually put you more at risk for contracting COVID-19; as it weakens immune systems and leads to hospitalizations.
The sheet makes a point to highlight the most important misconceptions in bold blue letters. In fact, it begins with a strong, definitive statement.
“There is one critical point to remember during this current pandemic,” the sheet starts out with. “In no way will consumption of alcohol protect you from COVID-19 or prevent you from being infected by it.”
It then highlights “Myths” alongside true “Facts” verified by WHO. Beyond the myth of alcohol preventing COVID-19, it also addresses the mistaken ideas that drinking kills the virus in inhaled air and that wine has healing properties for the lungs. All of which are 100 percent untrue.
The WHO social media posts are in the same vein and use bold visuals to get the message across. WHO’s European Twitter account (which has nearly 150,000 followers) published a viral post highlighting that alcohol can increase depression, anxiety and fear during this time. It can also, as we all know, create lapses in judgment, which could lead to people leaving their homes and putting themselves more at risk for COVID.
You can see the post itself below (which happened to get over 461 shares).
Alcohol can affect your mental state and judgement while increasing symptoms like:
It can also weaken your immune system so should be avoided during self-quarantine.
— WHO/Europe (@WHO_Europe) April 12, 2020
And interestingly enough, peer pressure is still a factor in this situation too. “Virtual Happy Hours” have become commonplace, encouraging people to drink at home alone while they watch their friends on a Zoom chat. That too can make for a dangerous recipe.
Our advice is to steer clear of these temptations right now and most certainly reach out if you feel alcoholic cravings coming on.