Why you need to drink less during a pandemic

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The coronavirus pandemic may be the biggest health issue that our generation ever faces. While the guidelines are simple, many are failing to follow them. The important things are to isolate as much as possible, practice social distancing, wash your hands thoroughly and regularly, and do what you can to ensure your immune system is performing at its best. Initially, people were struggling with social distancing and isolation but have improved dramatically. Yet we can still do more for our immune system.

Times of quarantine and lockdown are pretty boring. Most of us have resorted to binging a few tv shows, eating something delicious and a little unhealthy, and drinking an extra bottle of wine or two. Self-care is important and all of these things help to relieve stress but a balance must be found. There is a serious virus attacking people’s immune systems at present, it is obvious that we should all be doing whatever we can to ensure our immune systems are fighting fit. 

This means ensuring you are getting at least 7 hours of sleep at night, eating nutritious meals with lots of green vegetables, drinking lots of water, engaging in regular exercise, and cutting down on alcohol. It is fair to say that most people are not doing this. 

A recent statistic showed that the sale of alcohol increased by 55% for March this year compared to last. Many people have decided to take the approach of drinking through the boredom of isolation. This is a terrible idea for so many reasons. Ignoring the immunity issues for a moment, we are all going through a period of high stress right now and alcohol may help in the short term but it won’t help in the long term. Alcohol is an addictive substance and has ruined so many lives. By leaning on alcohol during this strange time you risk relying on it when normality returns too. Don’t risk becoming addicted to alcohol by embracing it now.

Even if you are certain that can’t happen, alcohol impacts your immunity by a huge amount. Once you take a sip of an alcoholic drink your immune system becomes distracted. Your body is not able to deal with alcohol so it uses all its resources to send alcohol to the liver where it can be metabolized. This is distracting your body from its primary role right now, keeping you safe.

In addition, alcohol is just not good for you. Alcohol can damage immune cells meaning that when a virus does attack alcohol has weakened the defenses. Once the alcohol reaches your stomach it can kill many of the good bacteria waiting there. Alcohol also disrupts your sleep pattern meaning that you are unlikely to get your required hours if you are drinking more

There are numerous studies that show alcohol can make many diseases more severe and the coronavirus is likely no different. Considering this is a virus that some get and fight easily and others get and are defeated easily we should be doing whatever we can to ensure we are well equipped to defeat the virus and not get our asses kicked. 

Even if you are young and healthy and not worried about the virus, you should think of those you are in contact with. If you contract the virus it may not harm you but if your immune system is weaker it may mean you have it for longer and are more likely to infect someone you love.

People showed a great response when the coronavirus first hit by staying indoors and remaining isolated. We now need to go one step further and start practicing good health choices to ensure our immune systems are equipped to defeat the nasty virus.