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Exposing popular myths about protecting alcohol from COVID-19
Exposing popular myths about protecting alcohol from COVID-19
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Under no circumstances should any alcoholic beverages or alcohol-containing products be consumed to prevent or treat COVID-19.

Drinking alcohol will not protect you from COVID-19 infection

Alcohol is a toxic substance that affects almost every organ in your body. The risk of harm to your health increases with every glass you drink. Alcohol consumption, especially excessive drinking, weakens the immune system and reduces the body's ability to fight off infectious diseases, including the COVID-19 coronavirus infection. Excessive alcohol consumption is a risk factor for the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), one of the most severe complications of COVID-19. Alcohol also changes your thoughts, judgments, decision-making, and behavior. Alcohol use also increases the risk of injury and violence, including in intimate and sexual relationships, as well as among young people and towards the elderly and children. Drinking alcohol can exacerbate symptoms of panic, anxiety, and depressive disorders, especially in situations of self-isolation at home, and should not be used to cope with stress.

Common myths about alcohol and COVID-19

Drinking alcohol helps kill the virus that causes COVID-19. Drinking alcohol does not kill the virus. Conversely, drinking alcohol can increase the health risk if a person becomes infected with the virus. Alcohol (at a concentration of at least 60%) can be effectively used to disinfect the skin, but it does not have a disinfecting effect when ingested. When strong alcoholic beverages are consumed, viral particles contained in the inhaled air are destroyed. Drinking alcohol does not help to destroy viral particles contained in the inhaled air, does not disinfect the oral cavity and pharynx, and in no way is a way to protect against the virus. Drinking alcohol (in the form of beer, wine, distilled spirits, or herbal infusions) strengthens the human immune system and increases the body's resistance to the virus. Drinking alcohol has a devastating effect on your immune system, does not strengthen your immune system or increase your body's resistance to the virus.

Alcohol and COVID-19: What You Need to Know

In order to avoid weakening the body's immune system and causing harm to your health and creating a risk to the health of others, you should completely stop drinking alcohol. If you do not drink alcohol, do not give in to any arguments or beliefs about the perceived health benefits of drinking alcohol and do not start drinking alcohol. If you drink alcohol, reduce your intake to a minimum and avoid alcohol intoxication. Avoid drinking to deal with difficult emotions and stress. Self-isolation combined with drinking can increase the risk of suicide. If you have suicidal thoughts, you should contact your local or national health hotlines for help. Seek online help if you think you or someone you care about has a drinking problem. Drinking alcohol should not become a social reason for smoking in a company and vice versa: smoking increases the risk of a more complicated and hazardous course of COVID-19.Never mix alcoholic beverages with medications, even if they are herbal or non-prescription drugs, since the combined use of medicinal products with alcohol can reduce their effectiveness or, conversely, increase the effect of drugs to the level of toxicity and danger to health and life … Do not drink alcohol if you are taking medications that affect the central nervous system (for example, pain relievers, sleeping pills, antidepressants, etc.), as drinking alcohol can depress liver function and cause liver failure or other serious problems with health. Do not store large stocks of alcoholic beverages at home, as having them at home could potentially increase your drinking, as well as those of others in your family or those around you. Children and young people living with you should not have access to alcohol. They should also not witness how you drink alcohol, since for them your example should serve as a standard of behavior. Talk to the children and young people living with you about the problems associated with COVID-19 and alcohol use, such as the dangers of violating quarantine and physical distancing requirements. Such disruptions can exacerbate the course of a pandemic. Keep track of how much time your kids spend watching TV or other devices. The media constantly actively advertises alcoholic products, and the media also disseminate incorrect or distorted information that can form in children and young people the habits of drinking and excessive drinking at an early age.

Remember: only in a sober state can you maintain vigilance, speed of reactions and actions, clarity of mind when making decisions concerning you personally, your family members and representatives of your environment

Alcohol and COVID-19: What You Need to Know

With the current COVID-19 (novel coronavirus infection) pandemic, all countries in the world must take decisive action to stop the spread of the coronavirus among the population. In these critical circumstances, it is critical to educate people about other health risks and hazards in order to ensure the safety and health of the public.

This bulletin contains important information you need to know about COVID-19 and alcohol use. Also, special attention is paid to misinformation about the connection between COVID-19 and alcohol consumption, which is spread through social networks and other communication channels.

The main things to remember:

Drinking alcohol in no way protects against COVID-19 infection and cannot prevent COVID-19 disease.

Alcohol and the human body: general facts

Ethyl alcohol (ethanol) is a substance that is contained in alcoholic (alcoholic) beverages and is the cause of most of the harm from their use, regardless of which alcoholic beverages enter the body: wine, beer, strong alcohol or other alcoholic products … Unfortunately, other toxic substances that may smell but are not ethanol can be added to counterfeit drinks that are produced by illegal or artisanal methods; or they may be present in alcoholic beverages that are not intended to be consumed by mouth, such as hand sanitizers. Exposure to additives such as methanol (methyl alcohol) is fatal to humans, even in small amounts, or can lead, among other consequences, to blindness and kidney failure.According to media reports, as well as information from private sources, in some countries, during the period of the COVID-19 outbreak, there have already been deaths from the use of alcohol-based products due to an unfounded belief that they can provide protection against the virus.

Here are general facts you should know about alcohol consumption and health:

Alcohol has short-term and long-term effects on almost every organ in your body. Overall, the evidence suggests that there is no “safe level of alcohol consumption” - in fact, the risk of harm to your health increases with every glass you drink •

Drinking alcohol, especially excessive drinking, weakens the immune system and thus reduces the body's ability to fight off infectious diseases. Drinking alcohol, even in small amounts, is known to be one of the causes of some types of cancer. Alcohol changes your thoughts, judgments, decision-making and behavior. Drinking alcohol, even in small doses, poses a risk to the developing fetus throughout pregnancy. Alcohol use is responsible for the increased risk, frequency and intensity of violence in intimate and sexual relationships, as well as among young people and in relation to the elderly and children. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of injury and death from road traffic crashes, drowning or falls. Excessive alcohol consumption is a risk factor for the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), one of the most severe complications of COVID-19.

Common myths about alcohol and COVID-19

Drinking alcohol helps kill the virus that causes COVID-19. Drinking alcohol does not kill the virus. Conversely, drinking alcohol can increase the health risk if a person becomes infected with the virus. Alcohol (at a concentration of at least 60%) can be effectively used to disinfect the skin, but it does not have a disinfecting effect when ingested. When strong alcoholic beverages are consumed, viral particles contained in the inhaled air are destroyed. Drinking alcohol does not help to destroy viral particles contained in the inhaled air, does not disinfect the oral cavity and pharynx, and in no way is a way to protect against the virus. Drinking alcohol (in the form of beer, wine, distilled spirits, or herbal infusions) strengthens the human immune system and increases the body's resistance to the virus. Drinking alcohol has a devastating effect on your immune system, does not strengthen your immune system or increase your body's resistance to the virus.

Alcohol: what to do and what not to do during the COVID-19 pandemic

In order to avoid weakening the body's immune system and causing harm to your health and creating a risk to the health of others, you should completely stop drinking alcohol.

Only in a sober state will you be able to maintain vigilance, speed of reactions and actions, clarity of mind when making decisions concerning you personally, your family members and representatives of your environment. If you drink alcohol, reduce your intake to a minimum and avoid alcohol intoxication. Drinking alcohol should not become a social reason for smoking in a company and vice versa: drinking alcoholic beverages is often accompanied by smoking, and smoking, in turn, increases the risk of a more complicated and dangerous course of COVID-19. Remember that indoor smoking is dangerous to other members of your family and you should avoid creating an environment in which you endanger their health. Children and young people living with you should not have access to alcohol.They should also not witness how you drink alcohol, since for them your example should serve as a standard of behavior. Talk to the children and young people living with you about the problems associated with COVID-19 and alcohol use, such as the dangers of violating quarantine and physical distancing requirements. Such disruptions can exacerbate the course of a pandemic. Keep track of how much time your kids spend watching TV or other devices. The media constantly actively advertises alcoholic products, and the media also disseminate harmful and incorrect or distorted information that can form in children and young people the habits of drinking and excessive drinking at an early age. Never mix alcoholic beverages with drugs, even if these are herbal or non-prescription drugs, since the combined use of drugs with alcohol can reduce their effectiveness or, conversely, increase the effect of drugs to the level of toxicity and danger to health and life … Do not drink alcohol if you are taking medications that affect the central nervous system (for example, pain relievers, sleeping pills, antidepressants, etc.), as drinking alcohol can depress liver function and cause liver failure and other serious problems with health.

Alcohol use and physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic

To slow the spread of the virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends physical distance of at least one meter from sick people as a protective measure. Bars, casinos, nightclubs, restaurants, and other places where people congregate to drink alcohol, as well as home gatherings, increase the risk of transmission of the virus. Thus, a protective measure such as physical distancing reduces the availability of alcoholic drinks and gives you a good opportunity to cut down on alcohol consumption and take care of your health.

Alcohol and self-isolation at home or adherence to quarantine

To limit the spread of COVID-19, countries have gradually introduced massive self-isolation and quarantine regimes for those suspected of contracting the virus or in contact with someone infected with the virus. This means that currently an unprecedented number of people spend all their time at home.

It is important to be aware that alcohol consumption is a risk factor for your health and safety, therefore, alcohol should be avoided during self-isolation at home or in quarantine.

If you work remotely, follow your usual daily routine and workplace rules and do not drink alcohol. Do not forget that after your lunch break, you must be in shape in order to continue working, and under the influence of alcohol, this will not be possible. Alcohol is not a necessary part of your diet and should not be a priority on your shopping list. Do not store large stocks of alcoholic beverages at home, as having these at home could potentially increase your drinking and that of others in your family or those around you. It makes more sense to invest your time, money, and other resources in purchasing healthy and nutritious foods that will strengthen your health and immune system to resist the virus. Recommendations and advice on healthy eating habits during self-isolation at home and in quarantine are provided in relevant WHO publications.1 You may have the misconception that alcohol helps you cope with stress, but alcohol is actually not an effective way to cope with stress … Alcohol use is generally known to exacerbate symptoms of panic, anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders and is a risk factor for domestic and domestic violence.Avoid drinking alcohol as a pastime at home and prioritize physical activity at home. Regular physical activity helps to strengthen the immune system. In general, physical activity will help you make the most of your time at home in quarantine, and will also have a positive effect on your health both in the near future and in the future. 2 Do not teach your children or young people to drink alcohol and do not come to intoxicated in their presence. Child abuse and neglect can be exacerbated by alcohol use. These manifestations are especially typical for situations when a large number of people live together and it is not possible to isolate oneself from the drinking person.

1 “Whole Foods and Healthy Eating: Eating Well During Self-Quarantine” Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2020. 2 "How to stay physically active during COVID-19 self-quarantine" (Disinfectants and antiseptics can be readily available for oral use at home. Therefore, it is important to keep these funds out of the reach of children, minors, and others who may abuse this product. Alcohol consumption can increase during self-isolation, and isolation and alcohol consumption can also increase the risk of suicide. Therefore, it is extremely important to reduce your alcohol consumption. If you have suicidal thoughts, you should contact your local or national health hotlines for help. Alcohol use is closely associated with violence and abuse, including intimate partner violence. Men commit most of the violence against women, which is exacerbated by their alcohol use, while women experiencing violence can increase their alcohol consumption as a coping mechanism. If you are a victim of violence and are forced to be in the same space with the person who will commit violence due to the fact that you observe the regime of self-isolation at home, you need to have a plan of action to ensure your own safety in the event of an exacerbation of the situation. In case it is important for you to immediately leave your place of residence, you must be able to go to someone from the circle of your neighbors, friends, relatives, or to a temporary shelter. It is recommended that you reach out to family members and / or friends who can support you, and contact the hotline or your local Domestic Violence Crisis Center for assistance. If you are in quarantine and need to leave your home immediately, call your local support hotline or contact someone you trust.

Alcohol use disorders and COVID-19

Alcohol use disorders are characterized by excessive drinking and loss of control over drinking. While they are among the most common mental disorders in the world, they are also among the most stigmatized.

People with alcohol use disorder are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19, not only because of the effects of alcohol on their health, but also because they are more likely to be homeless or imprisoned than the general population. Therefore, in the current environment, it is imperative that people who need help with alcohol use receive all the support they need. If you or your loved ones have problems with drinking alcohol, we ask you to carefully consider the following considerations:

The current situation provides you with a unique opportunity to completely stop drinking alcohol or, at least, significantly reduce your level of alcohol consumption, since you can, for objective reasons, give up various social reasons and avoid situations when the atmosphere and company, including parties, have an opportunity to drink alcohol. friendly meetings, restaurants and clubs.

During the period of self-isolation, online support is available from specialists and self-help groups for people with alcohol use disorders. Such groups and interventions can be more anonymous and confidential, thus reducing stigma. Find out what help you can get online. Self-organize a self-help and support system with someone you trust and seek additional help as needed, such as online counseling, interventions, and support groups. When following a physical distancing regimen, do not create social isolation around yourself: keep in touch with loved ones, friends, colleagues, neighbors and relatives through phone calls, messages or letters. Take advantage of new and innovative communication options so that you can continue to communicate remotely at a distance. Avoid watching persistent alcohol advertisements on television and in other media where alcohol marketing and promotion is widespread; be careful and avoid links to social media sponsored by the alcohol industry. Try to maintain your usual daily routine, focus on the things you have control over, and try to maintain a sense of presence in the here and now. Daily exercise, your hobbies, and relaxation techniques can help you do this. If you become infected, talk to healthcare professionals about your alcohol use so they can make the most appropriate decisions about your overall health.

How to find reliable information and how to recognize misinformation

Try to get information from trusted sources with a proven track record, such as WHO, national health authorities, and familiar healthcare professionals. The WHO website is always available for up-to-date and updated information on COVID-19.3

Always double-check any information you receive. Treat websites and information resources with caution and caution.

in which the same messages are repeated and which differ in the same style of presentation, since there is a high probability that they are viral messages created for mass distribution in order to misinform the population. Beware of knowingly false and unclear claims, especially regarding the effects of alcohol on your health and the immune system. Such statements categorically cannot be accepted as a source of health information, since there is no reliable evidence to prove that alcohol consumption contributes to protection against infection with COVID-19 or has a positive effect on the course and outcome of any infectious diseases.

3 Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. (online information portal). Copenhagen: World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe 2020.).

Be wary of online claims that drinking alcohol provides significant benefits that are urgently needed during self-isolation at home or while in quarantine. Alcohol is not, under any circumstances, a necessary component of your diet or lifestyle.Please be aware that advertising on websites or social media for the sale or home delivery of alcoholic beverages may increase alcohol consumption and may target children. If you do not drink alcohol, do not give in to any arguments or beliefs about the perceived health benefits of drinking alcohol and do not start drinking alcohol.

Key Points to Remember: Under no circumstances should any alcoholic beverages or alcohol-containing products be consumed to prevent or treat COVID-19.

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