Minimal drinking helps prepare for covid-19

Rejigging our alcohol consumption can help adapt to our current situation and prepare for the challenges ahead.

The easing of lockdowns is not the end or the beginning of the end. It is just, perhaps, the end of the beginning. 

The UK still faces the deepest depression for perhaps 300 years, according to the Bank of England.

The political futures currently proposed by the UK and elsewhere are far from certain to improve the outlook.

We can only respond to world events such as these as best we can, trying to minimise damage and hasten recovery.

We need to brace for lower income, unemployment, curtailed freedoms and thousands of premature deaths.

One way to be ready as we can be for hard times is to adopt healthy, cost-saving choices early, including low-risk drinking.

This simple suggestion is strongly advocated by the WHO, though precious few governments have given it airtime.

Alcohol use weakens our immune system and judgement, and our capacity to cope with emotional challenges.

We can use the tranquility many of us now have in abundance to do this. There may be other times for it, but not better ones.

We are now free of one enormous challenge faced by people trying to cut down drinking: social pressure.

The UK’s low-risk consistently drinking under 14 UK units (140ml) a week of alcohol is a reasonable target. 

Achieving this can help improve our better mental and physical health while slashing costs ahead of a downturn.

We can get help from our GP and from a wide range of organisations set up to support and assist.

Good news is set to be short supply. But, in its absence, we can at least celebrate and take the chance to act on good ideas. ■