So far, the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed more than 120,000 lives worldwide. According to the WHO, alcohol kills 3 million people worldwide every year, a third of which in the WHO European Region. Fighting COVID-19 with alcohol is completely wrong, says the WHO in a warning today.
Fear and misinformation have generated a dangerous myth that consuming high-strength alcohol can kill the COVID-19 virus. It does not. 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 health outcomes.WHO warning issued 14 April 2020
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Americans have been panic-buying more than just toilet paper. Alcohol sales spiked 55% in the United States in the week ending March 21, according to data from market research firm Nielsen. Online alcohol sales were up 243%. According to a survey by Alcohol.org, 1 in 5 respondents said they stockpiled alcohol for just that reason. However, many people are also drinking more in general: 1 in 3 respondents said they are likely to increase alcohol consumption in isolation.