In March 2020, in response to the Covid 19 pandemic, the UK went into our first lockdown. We had pub quizzes in our living rooms, hailed Joe Exotic a ‘Tiger King’, baked enough banana bread to feed the nation and spent an extra £160m on booze in the first 3 weeks!!
Working from home became our ‘new normal’ and, for most, that meant a freedom to relax while pawing over our spreadsheets. Ice cold beer at 1pm? Why not? In a study from the Institute of Alcohol, that’s exactly how 33% of workers felt, as it is reported they drank more during the first lockdown than previously, while only 22% of non-workers said the same. In fact, more than a quarter of the nation said they felt they turned to the booze more as a result of the pandemic. Relieving our COVID-19-related impacts such as furlough, redundancy, unemployment, bereavement, and mental health with a gin and tonic in the afternoon, an extra glass of wine after a day of home-schooling or a lunchtime beer at our desks became the norm resulting in us losing motivation, feeling sluggish and gaining weight.
But, this isn’t the case for everybody, a whopping 3 million of us decided to ditch the booze in favour of a non-alcohol alternative while they were home for the spring. A considerable number of current drinkers stopped drinking completely during lockdown and the changes in lifestyle are most apparent among younger people with 11% of 18-34 years olds creating a more positive relationship with alcohol.
As we are asked, once again, to stay home and save lives, what will you do to make Lockdown 2.0 a better one?