Back in March, it became incredibly clear COVID-19 had stopped being polite and started getting very, very real, which led to people flocking to stores to clear the shelves of canned goods, toilet paper, and basically every other product that would help them weather the storm that continues to rage.
Hand sanitizer was also virtually impossible to track down but I was much more concerned with acquiring alcohol-based substances that are fit for human consumption and subsequently devoted the vast majority of a Saturday afternoon to making multiple trips to various liquor stores to purchase as much booze as I could carry in case the powers that be didn’t consider them an essential business.
Much to my relief, they were given the all-clear to remain open as the pandemic increased in ferocity, as my initial stockpile disappeared at a much more rapid pace than I’d anticipated thanks to a notable uptick in my overall consumption. I purposefully didn’t keep track of exactly how much my drinking had increased because I had enough shit to worry about already but the same can’t be said for the 1,540 Americans who were the subject of a study that was recently conducted by researchers at Indiana University in conjunction with the RAND Corporation.
While the fact that people started drinking more since we entered the bizarre new reality we now inhabit was a foregone conclusion, we now have an idea of exactly how much more they’ve imbibed, as the average respondent reported they’d been drinking 14% more frequently compared to the previous year over the course of a 30-day period between April and June.
Interestingly enough, there wasn’t a notable rise in the overall number of drinks consumed over that period (people had an average of around 18 of them during the month they spent monitoring their intake). However, Americans are going a bit harder than usual, and while men have been drinking heavily (defined as five or more in a single sitting) 7% more frequently, women have seen that number rise a fairly staggering 41% (although, as Time notes, it’s worth noting the numbers show they’ve limited themselves to going H.A.M. an average of just one time per month).
In the end, the overall results of the study are basically the definition of a “No Shit” conclusion, but with that said, it’s nice to take solace in knowing you’re not alone.