CoronavirusLocal News

Americans double down on worst habits to cope with pandemic

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): One thing that is not in short supply, or restricted during the COVID-19 Pandemic, is bad habits, or vices. And Americans are embracing them as a way to cope with mental and emotional stress caused by the coronavirus.

  • According to Nielsen, alcohol sales are up 55%. High proof spirits led the way with a 75% spike in sales, followed by wine sales increasing 66% and beer up 42%.
  • Marijuana sales are soaring in places across the country where it’s legal, although some businesses and dispensaries have been caught short on supply.
  • Consumption of online pornography is up with traffic increasing 6.4% in the U.S. alone, according to the website Pornhub.
  • People are eating more. Consumers are turning to sweets, pre-packaged snacks, comfort food, such as instant potatoes and pasta as well as non-perishable processed food and canned goods. Many people have expressed concern over potential weight gain (the quarantine 15 or COVID-15) yet continue to indulge themselves.
  • People are exercising less as well, due in no small part to gyms being closed across the country. They’re moving less and sleeping more, according to CNBC.

Americans are streaming more video as well. People are binge-watching (meaning watching three or more episodes from a series at a time) their favorite shows.

Gaming has also boomed amid the pandemic, as data from Apptopia shows Twitch, Mixer, Caffeine and Discord, all live-stream gaming platforms, posted their best month of revenue during March.

The Axios-Ipsos Coronavirs Index poll reflects some of what we already know, and that is that the pandemic is starting to take a significant toll on Americans’ mental and emotional health.

  • That’s not likely to improve as Americans overindulge in their favorite vices while they ride out the pandemic.
  • Additionally, increased fear and stress are causing some Americans to act out and embrace their worst instincts. There is increasing evidence that domestic violence is skyrocketing in some areas, and experts worry that more is on the way according to a report published by Axios.

Firearms sales have surged to near record levels, as March was the second busiest month ever. One record that was smashed was for FBI background checks. During March, 3.7 million checks were completed.

There are signs emerging that the country has approached the crest of the pandemic. Experts are concerned as to what the long lasting impact may be from Americans embracing vices in excess as the country attempts to return to normal.

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