Found yourself having a cheeky beer often?
Turns out the World Health Organisation advises against it, and for good reason too. In a recent article and factsheet published on their European website, the WHO has outlined a number of reasons that access to the substance should be limited, as many countries remain on strict lockdown.
The warning has been issued as a result of a number of deaths in relation to consuming fatal toxic substances – as harmful rumours circulated the internet that they’d “protect” people from COVID-19. Now, the WHO has warned of how alcohol can actually weaken your immune system, which in turn, could make you more susceptible to catching the virus.
The fact sheet outlines a number of risk factors, including short-term and long-term effects on organs, a weakened immune system, alteration of thoughts and decision-making, and even an increased risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome – which is a severe complication of COVID-19. Each risk factor is said to directly affect people during the lockdown period, whether it’s consuming too much alcohol and leaving the home (which puts others at risk), or comprimising your own health due to increased consumption.
Carina Ferreira-Borges, Programme Manager, Alcohol and Illicit Drugs Programme for WHO/Europe has said: “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 behaviour on others, including violence”
In addition to the statement and fact sheet, the WHO has also issued advice for people consuming alcohol during the lockdown, saying: “It is important to understand that alcohol poses risks to your health and safety and should therefore be avoided during periods of home isolation or quarantine.”
“Alcohol is not a necessary part of your diet and should not be a priority on your shopping list. Avoid stockpiling alcohol at home, as this will potentially increase your alcohol consumption and the consumption of others in your household.”
Adding: “You might think that alcohol helps you to cope with stress, but it is not in fact a good coping mechanism, as it is known to increase the symptoms of panic and anxiety disorders, depression and other mental disorders, and the risk of family and domestic violence.”