⊙ Alcohol consumption and also attending alcohol consumption venues, contribute to the spread of the coronavirus through a variety of physiological, cognitive-behavioral and social mechanisms.
⊙ COVID-19 has affected alcohol consumption, and alcohol consumption has played a crucial role in the transmission and propagation of the pandemic.
⊙ Alcohol and COVID-19 has been, and continues to be, a lethal interaction.
⊙ As the understanding of the drivers behind the pandemic has improved, alcohol has emerged as a key actor.
⊙ Alcohol use may both reduce immunity to an infection and also increase the risk of serious complications by triggering an excessive immune response.
⊙ During COVID-19, evidence-based alcohol policy solutions have the potential to help relieve these overstretched services by reducing both alcohol- and COVID-related healthcare demand.
⊙ Decades of scientific research illustrate the potential of alcohol policy solutions influencing alcohol availability during the pandemic as fundamental to determining the direction and magnitude of change in alcohol consumption and related harms at a population level.
⊙ In addition to gaining ‘essential’ service status for their products, alcohol industry lobbyists have pressured governments extensively for the removal or undermining of established alcohol laws.
a) Major regulatory changes or concessions (e.g., allowing or increasing home delivery of alcohol) will be difficult to reverse and are therefore likely to persist after the pandemic.
⊙ Across the globe, alcohol industry lobbyists have used the COVID-19 crisis to shape public debate around alcohol’s role in society, promote wholesale deregulation of its market and influence policy.
⊙ Commercial investment in lobbying efforts to shore-up the scaffolding that supports alcohol industry reach into national, state and local policy is strategic, ongoing and has much in common with Big Tobacco.