Essentials are cleared from shelves. Many social scenes are being ordered shut to minimize the congregation while COVID-19 is spreading across the United States. Social media and the news are constantly reporting the horrors of this new mutation of the flu virus. Entire restaurants and bars are closing. People are being forced off of work with no pay. Smaller businesses are losing so much in this that they are already expecting to go bankrupt. Every sneeze is treated as suspicious. Tension is at an all-time high. It sounds like the perfect time for a drink, right? Wrong. Drugs and alcohol can lead to a compromised immune system, which is not something you want during an epidemic.
With so many agencies reporting on COVID-19 and the many momentary experts on our social media feeds, it’s only natural that a lot of misinformation is currently being spread faster than the virus. Some of the bottom-line facts about COVID-19 include:
Numbers are Uncertain
As many people have been treated with similar COVID-19 symptoms but not with that specific diagnosis, it is difficult to form exact numbers for how many people actually have had the virus and how many deaths are from the virus, itself. With the confirmed cases rapidly increasing, at the moment, any numbers posted would be immediately outdated. About the only numbers that are certain is that the elderly are at the highest risk of not surviving this virus, along with others who have a compromised immune system.
Due to the inability to work with certain numbers because of the potential quantity of unknown infected, it is also difficult to determine just how easily the virus spreads. It is an airborne virus, which makes it easier to spread than viruses that require direct contact with others. This is why governments are taking aggressive measures to minimize crowds from gathering.
Overreactions Can Be as Dangerous
With the hoarding of goods currently going on, people who were unable to get to the stores before the panic are left without many supplies. Those with a compromised immune system, especially the elderly, are forced to go to the stores which are MORE crowded due to the panic, exposing themselves to more people who could be potentially carrying the virus. In addition, the stress of lacking basic items only makes a compromised immune system even worse, increasing the vulnerability of these individuals.
Drugs, Alcohol, and a Compromised Immune System
With the tension and boredom, alone, recreational use of drugs and alcohol is going to be very tempting to a lot of people. Many will joke about how drinking can only help because “Alcohol will kill all of the germs, haha.” Well, here’s the kicker.
Moderate consumption of alcohol (the one glass of wine idea) can reduce inflammation which can also improve responses to vaccination. However, heavy drinking is known to decrease lymphocytes (cells that recognize antigens, produce antibodies, and destroy foreign cells) and increase the risk of bacterial and viral infections. Also, those in recovery or struggling with alcohol use disorder will find this ‘solution’ troublesome. Fortunately, there are ways to reach out to Westwind Recovery for help.
Finding Help with Westwind Recovery
Those at the highest risk of severe complications associated with COVID-19 are those with a compromised immune system. It doesn’t matter if the weakened state is due to age, another illness or a chemical is suppressing it. As COVID-19 is a strain of the flu, the same preventative measures apply.
- Avoid known sick people;
- Minimize exposure to groups, especially packed spaces;
- Practice good hygiene; and
- Do not consume drugs or alcohol.
If an epidemic is making you rethink your use of drugs or alcohol, be sure to reach out today. Our trained staff at Westwind Recovery can help you on the path to sobriety and better health. Call 855.340.8832 today.