If you have Covid, drinking alcohol is one of the worst things you can do to your body. Your immune system has already taken a knock, and adding alcohol to your body will only make you feel worse.
You may have read false news over the last few years that says drinking alcohol will stop people from getting Covid. This isn’t true; it’s a complete myth.
Drinking alcohol in large amounts won’t stop you from getting Covid — it will weaken your immune system, increasing your likelihood of picking up Covid. The best way to avoid Covid is by living a healthy lifestyle and taking common-sense precautions.
Drinking Alcohol Will NOT Protect Against Covid
While using alcohol-based hand sanitiser and sprays will help protect your hands and surfaces from germs, digesting it or other similar products won’t stop you from picking up Covid. Drinking liquids with a high percentage of alcohol, such as spirits, won’t protect you from Covid. Highly alcoholic drinks include light and dark rum, gin, brandy, tequila, absinthe, vodka and whisky.
How Does Alcohol Affect My Health?
Drinking alcohol, even in small quantities, doesn’t improve your health. It may make you feel relaxed and confident for a short while, but as you probably know, these effects wear off quickly, leaving you anxious or depressed.
Heavy drinking damages most of the organs in your body, especially the liver, and stops your body from fighting off infections, such as Covid, pneumonia and flu. Alcohol has also been known to cause cancer. Alcohol changes the way you act and think (not in a good way) and gives people misplaced confidence to carry out risky behaviours.
If you’re pregnant, drinking alcohol can affect your unborn child, especially in the first three months of pregnancy, and cause miscarriage and premature births. There are no safety guidelines for how much alcohol you can drink when pregnant, so the general advice is to avoid it.
Alcohol also increases the likelihood of violence, either caused by you or a perpetrator. 39% of violent crimes in the UK involve the use of alcohol. In Wales, the figure was even higher at 49%.
Heavy Drinking And Covid Complications
Some people are badly affected by Covid, and they need to stay in hospital to recover. If you’re a heavy drinker, you can develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS.) This is a serious, sometimes fatal lung condition where fluid enters the lungs. Patients find it hard to breathe and need to stay in intensive care and put on a ventilator, as oxygen can’t get around the body and other vital organs.
The message? Protect your body — don’t drink alcohol in large amounts. If you drink, stick to the recommended guidelines; no more than 14 units per week (See full details of the guidelines here). That’s up to six pints of lager or six medium glasses of wine.
Alcohol won’t stop you from getting Covid, and it won’t make Covid go away if you have it.
Ways To Avoid Alcohol If You’re Isolating
Staying at home to recover from Covid can be frustrating for some people, especially if they have mild Covid. Lack of routine, boredom and being stuck in the house are risk factors encouraging people to drink and relapse. Heavy drinkers and recovering alcoholics often find isolation challenging. Here are some suggestions to help you avoid or minimise your alcohol consumption if you’re isolating yourself:
- If you’re able to work at home, be strict with your schedule and avoid alcohol at lunchtimes, as you would in an office or usual workplace.
- Stick to a daily routine; even write out a timetable if necessary, so you have activities to stop you from getting bored and keep your mind active.
- Organise regular phone calls or Zoom meetings with family, friends or colleagues to stop yourself from feeling bored and lonely.
- It’s vital that you still access counselling and support groups, whether that’s through AA, local support groups or with your mental health practitioner. As you can’t travel outside of your home, make sure you arrange online counselling sessions and support groups, so you continue to receive the help you need.
- Avoid social media accounts or TV programmes that trigger your desire to drink alcohol. Try to watch feel-good programmes instead.
- Buy and eat healthy food. Eating the right foods will make you feel good, improve your immune system, and help fight off Covid.
- Try gentle exercise to keep your mind and body active. Exercise has been proven to improve mental health, meaning that you’re less likely to turn to alcohol to pass the time. There are plenty of free online videos that you can do at home, such as yoga or gentle aerobic exercises.
Covid, Alcohol And Your Mental Health
Your mental health can take a nosedive when isolating, especially if you have a diagnosed condition. Drinking alcohol causes many people to feel depressed, anxious, angry, and psychotic. Alcohol also worsens bipolar and schizophrenia symptoms, leading to extreme bouts of paranoia and hallucinations.
Drinking alcohol, in extreme cases, can make you suicidal. If you find that your mental health is deteriorating, don’t reach for alcohol. Call your doctor or Samaritans on freephone 116 123, 24 hours a day.
There has been an increase in domestic violence since the Covid pandemic began in 2020. Whilst we no longer have national lockdowns, many people still have to isolate themselves due to contracting Covid. If you’re isolating with a violent partner and adding alcohol into the mix, the risk and severity of domestic violence are increased.
If you find yourself a victim of domestic violence or alcohol-related sexual abuse, you can call 999 and press 55 when prompted. You don’t have to speak. The police are alerted, and they treat the call as an emergency, visiting you at home and helping you find a safe refuge for you or your family.
Help For Alcohol Addiction
Asana Lodge is the ideal treatment centre if you need help with alcohol addiction. Our alcohol rehab is located in the village of Yardley Gobion in Northamptonshire, we offer a wide range of specialist addiction treatments. Call us for a friendly chat on 01908 489421, 24 hours a day.
Get In Touch
Asana Lodge is a leading UK based expert in Private Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Treatment. Find out how we can help by contacting our friendly team today.