The sale of alcohol rose a whopping 55% in March compared to last year.
With coronavirus lockdowns allowing little outlet for people, many people turned to liquor.
“I’m coming out of this global pandemic either a master chef or an alcoholic,” quipped celebrity chef Ina Garten. The BBC reported that her sentiments are shared by others who joined Zoom happy hours to cope with their anxiety and boredom.
But experts say the escape provided by booze is short-lived.
“In the moment, it feels like relief and we feel better,” said Annie Grace, author of "This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol." “Our blood alcohol levels rise and things feel slower; our mind relaxes and there’s some disorientation and euphoria.”
But Grace warned that a half hour later, the body recognizes alcohol as a toxin and gets rid of it, leaving you feeling more stressed.
Michael Farrell, director of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, called this “the bounce back effect,” according to BBC.
Another reason why it may not be a good thing to drink during the pandemic is that alcohol lowers your immune system. According to Healthline, health experts around the world warned that increased drinking increases your risk of infection from COVID-19.
“Alcohol consumption is associated with a range of communicable and noncommunicable diseases and mental health disorders, which can make a person more vulnerable to COVID-19. In particular, alcohol compromises the body’s immune system and increases the risk of adverse outcomes,” said the World Health Organization.
In particular, alcohol has serious effects on lung tissue leading to increased risk of respiratory distress, a common complication of the novel coronavirus.
“If the cells lining a person’s airway are damaged from alcohol, then viral particles, such as COVID-19, more easily gain access, causing immune cells which fight off infection to not work well, leading to increased overall risks as well as complications,” Dr. Alex Mroszczyk-McDonald, a family physician in Southern California told Healthline.
His advice is to limit alcohol consumption to a couple of times a week and only having two or three drinks at a time. And for those with underlying ailments such as heart disease and diabetes, he suggests drinking even less to reduce the risk of serious and even fatal complications of COVID-19.
© 2021 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.