We’re waiting ’til 5. Like the good, reasonable, responsible adults that we are, Dana and I are waiting until the godly hour of 5pm to crack open a cold one or, in her case, pop the top on a bottle of bubbly. Otherwise, if we’re just diving in when the spirit strikes us, I’d be in trouble. She wouldn’t. She’s got her shit together, for one thing, but more than that, when she started her mega-corporate job a couple of years ago, she signed a document promising not to imbibe during working hours. The sheet doesn’t say where not to partake, so we’re assuming it also includes at home during a global pandemic. I would be pounding Bud Lights as soon as my feet hit the floor out of bed if I didn’t have some sort of mental framework around which I could channel my anxiety about all the painful deaths, the #lowenergy economy, and, way less important, the end of the world. COVID-19 cases are about to surge. Nationally, we’re shooting for May or June to finally begin –– begin –– to flatten the curve. That’s an eternity in the world of small businesses like the Weekly. In Tarrant County, as of this writing, five more people have died from the coronavirus to bring the total to 18. The recently deceased ranged in age from 47 to 88. Only two of them were suffering from underlying health issues.
No part of our great republic will be spared, the smart people are informing us, which I’d like to say would be bad news for the current occupant of the White House, but since his followers don’t care what he does or, in the case of COVID-19, what he did not do (other than play golf and hold rallies), he’s sure to win a second term. Plus, Republican pols are doing a fantastic job preventing blacks and Latinos from voting. And just like that, as soon as you start thinking maybe things are on the uptick, the reality of the near future sets in. Wartime incumbents almost always win. Drinky time might need to be pushed up to 4. Or noon.
One in five Texans admits to drinking while “working” during quarantine, according to a recent survey, and more than a third of respondents believe they are pounding more alcohol than usual during the lockdown. Alcohol.org, a provider of treatment resources and “everything linked to alcohol abuse and rehabilitation,” conducted the study of 3,000 employees working from home across the country to “find out how many are using their new office setup as an excuse to drink.” Though one in five may seem like a lot, Texas, at 22%, is well below the national average of 32%. The tipsiest state is Hawaii at 67%. The citizens least likely to take advantage of the work-from-home/do-what-you-want situation live in Arkansas (8%).
The beverage most respondents reach for? Beer (38%), followed by cocktails (26%), wine (21%), and straight spirits (15%).
It’s no joke. Addiction can run out of control during times of crises, and we’re in the midst of a crisis unlike anything any of us has ever seen before. Drinking can also lead to domestic abuse.
“If you find yourself or anyone in your household reaching for the bottle as a coping mechanism too often, it can be cause for concern, especially considering the current circumstances in which we have found ourselves as a nation,” said Dr. Lawrence Weinstein, chief medical officer of American Addiction Centers. ‘These are stressful times as many employees struggle with having to adapt to a home working environment, in which distractions are abundant and alcohol may seem like a good solution. There are a number of accessible online resources available if you suspect substance addiction, such as support helplines, chatrooms, and forums.”
Though booze o’clock in our house has been pushed to 5, bedtime has remained the same: 9:30-ish. What a magical four and a half hours those are, though. Simply radiant. –– Anthony Mariani
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