Coronavirus: Does alcohol really keep you safe from COVID-19

·2-min read
Does drinking reduce coronavirus risk?
Does drinking reduce coronavirus risk?

Yahoo investigates the most popular belief around Coronavirus prevention

As India goes into self-imposed lockdown for a day and the number of coronavirus cases rise up steadily, the number of myths surrounding the spread and prevention of the virus also grow.

One of the several piece of information that has been doing the rounds is the belief that drinking alcohol will not just prevent you from getting affected by coronavirus but also kill it! As enticing as it sounds, the fact remains that this isn’t true. Of course that doesn’t mean you can’t make yourself this ‘anti-flu’ cocktail but know that it won’t protect you from coronavirus and definitely not kill it.

In a state of panic, it’s easy to believe everything that comes your way – let’s face it, we’re all holding on to straws and any piece of remotely soothing news helps – but this is the time when it’s most crucial to separate fact from fiction. So it’s important to remember that the story surrounding alcohol and coronavirus is just that – a story. If anything, several studies have indicated that alcohol could well reduce your immune system’s ability to fight off infectious diseases like coronavirus. So while a glass of wine or a couple of vodka shots are fine, downing too much alcohol over a sustained period of time will make you less resistant to diseases including COVID-19.

Even a single night of binge drinking can leave effects on your body that last beyond the next day’s nasty hangover. Which is why if you’re likely to catch a simple cold after binge drinking episodes.

There’s also the matter of the psychological effects of alcohol. As you get into social isolation, chances are you’ll find yourself being drawn to your bar. And while #daydrinking may seem cool on your Instagram the psychological effects of alcohol can be debilitating, especially if you’re someone with anxiety, depression, or have a history of substance abuse.

Several studies also indicate that alcohol can affect your gastrointestinal system and impair immune cells in the lungs. One article points out that ‘alcohol-provoked lung damage goes undetected until a second insult, such as a respiratory infection, leads to more severe lung diseases.’

You can, of course, use alcohol-based sanitisers to clean your hands frequently but remember to look out for sanitisers with alcohol content of 65 per cent. Anything more and you will leave your hands dry and itchy.

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