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How Much Liquor Can You Drink with COVID?

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That’s the question that faced me last night.

I have COVID. I am in quarantine, along with Marie and our two youngest kids.

I’m enjoying it. Max, the kid who tested positive, and I have made major headway on TDE (we hope you are enjoying the new features). I’m enjoying my semi-victim status: no one expects much of me while I’m (oh so) stricken. I’m writing, reading, and gardening . . . a lot.

The effects haven’t been bad. I had a nagging headache for a few days that briefly turned into a pounding headache (and, to be honest, its intensity freaked me out a little bit), but that lifted yesterday. And I’ve been fatigued, sleeping over ten hours a day.

Otherwise? A cough here and there, a few sniffles.

But for Max’s positive test result, I would’ve thought I was just growing old.

So Marie prevailed upon me to have a few drinks last night.

I was hesitant. For starters, I didn’t want to bring back that headache. And secondly, I figured it wouldn’t be good for my COVID battle, which I’ve been waging relentlessly with a lot of lemon water, electrolytes, Vitamin D, and green tea.

So, I went to the Google Machine. Shocker: Every story on the first-page search results cautioned against drinking during the COVID pandemic.

Every. Single. One.

Not a single story like, “A gin and tonic might help with COVID anxiety,” or “Two glasses of wine every night is good for your heart and the same antioxidants might help with COVID.”

No, just dire warnings like this one:

Alcohol is known to be harmful to health in general, and is well understood to increase the risk of injury and violence, including intimate partner violence, and can cause alcohol poisoning. At times of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, alcohol consumption can exacerbate health vulnerability, risk-taking behaviours, mental health issues and violence. WHO/Europe reminds people that drinking alcohol does not protect them from COVID-19, and encourages governments to enforce measures which limit alcohol consumption.

Injury, intimate partner violence, alcohol poisoning, health vulnerability, risk-taking behavior, mental health, and violence.

“Violence” is mentioned three times.

It wasn’t clear whether the violence is okay if it effects structural change in society, so I decided to drink.

But I stopped after two glasses of red wine.

It is a fact that alcohol relaxes the respiratory system, and my doctor told me the next few days pose my only real health risk from COVID. During days 7-10, he said, watch for shortness of breath. If it gets bad, go to the ER.

My doctor is “really chill” (he chuckled when I told him I have COVID), so when he issues a caution, I always listen.

But I suspect I’ll relax again tonight with a gin and tonic. This nifty overview of the best tonics plugs The Botanist, which is, honestly, about the fifth time I’ve seen it praised. I have a bottle. I need to see what the fuss is about.