There was a lot of doomsday scenarios when the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and how many deaths it would cause.
And while it did contribute to many deaths it was not the leading cause of death in 2020, but you may not know that if you only listen to the mainstream media.
In fact, all of the persistent coverage of the pandemic and the gloom and doom from the media, along with the lockdowns and lack of human interaction may have caused deaths as some people turned to alcohol and 2020 saw a increase in alcohol related deaths, National Review reported.
Alcohol-related deaths increased 25 percent from 2019 to 2020, with alcohol-related deaths among adults younger than 65 outnumbering deaths from Covid-19 in the same age group in 2020, a new study found.
Alcohol-related deaths, including from liver disease and accidents, increased to 99,017 in 2020, up from 78,927 the year prior, according to the study performed by researchers with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a division of the National Institutes of Health.
While 74,408 Americans ages 16 to 64 died of alcohol-related causes, 74,075 individuals under 65 died of Covid-19, the study found. The rate of increase for alcohol-related deaths in 2020 (25 percent) was greater than the rate of increase of deaths from all causes (16.6 percent).
The study shows just another unintended consequence of Covid-19 lockdowns and mitigation measures.
The study was published on Friday in The Journal of the American Medical Association based on information obtained from death records where alcohol was listed as the underlying or contributing cause.
Aaron White, a senior scientific adviser at the alcohol abuse institute and author of the report, said to The New York Times that it is believed by researchers that there were “lots of people who were in recovery and had reduced access to support that spring and relapsed.”
“Stress is the primary factor in relapse, and there is no question there was a big increase in self-reported stress, and big increases in anxiety and depression, and planet-wide uncertainty about what was coming next,” the author said. “That’s a lot of pressure on people who are trying to maintain recovery.”
Columbia University epidemiology professor Katherine Keyes, who was not involved in the study, argued that mental health issues were rising prior to the pandemic.
“As with many pandemic-related outcomes, this is an exacerbation of issues that were beginning before the pandemic for many people,” she said. “Drinking has been going up for 10 or 15 years among adults, and the trend accelerated in 2020, as some of the motivations to drink changed: Stress-related drinking increased, and drinking due to boredom increased.”
But she admitted that young adults, who were struggling with families and remote work, were under increased stress and those who are younger, and tend to drink more, were dealing with loneliness and stress.
And, she admitted, drinking at home and not at a bar could lead to increased drinking because it is less expensive, and because there is no bartender “you have less ability to regulate how much is going into the glass.”