With alcohol in demand as the coronavirus pandemic continues, health experts warn that drinking could heighten the risk of getting COVID-19.
The World Health Organization advised that alcohol should be restricted during lockdown because it could put people at risk for the coronavirus. That’s because alcohol weakens the body’s immune system and increases the risk of poor health outcomes that could lead to contracting COVID-19.
“Alcohol compromises the body’s immune system and increases the risk of adverse health outcomes,” WHO’s website said in a news brief. “Therefore, people should minimize their alcohol consumption at any time, and particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Carina Ferreira-Borges of WHO said it’s time to reconsider drinking during COVID-19.
“Alcohol is consumed in excessive quantities in the European Region, and leaves too many victims. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we should really ask ourselves what risks we are taking in leaving people under lockdown in their homes with a substance that is harmful both in terms of their health and the effects of their behavior on others, including violence,” she said.
Alcohol consumption has been on the rise as Americans braced safety measures like social distancing and shelter-in-place. A Nielsen study found that alcohol sales were up by 55% near the end of March, while spirits saw an even higher rise at 75% more sales compared to March 2019. It was a similar trend with wine (66%), beer (42%) and the rise of online sales, up 243% from the year before.
Contrary to what you’ve might have read, WHO reiterated that alcohol does not kill the virus.