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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Adkins

Why liquor stores were deemed essential and increased dependency during COVID

Updated: Mar 12

The COVID Pandemic has resulted in a number of issues in America and worldwide. This is not just the health issues related to the virus and those that have contracted it, but also the mental issues that occur with a person being isolated. On top of this, a number of people are encountering other very stressful situations such as unemployment and being in close quarters with the same people day in and day out.

Being in these types of mentally exhausting scenarios often causes people to seek out coping mechanisms to help give a sense of escape, especially when leaving the house for non-essential reasons was deemed unsafe. Things like online shopping, eating, and drinking too much became a prevalent way people were able to deal with the new realities before them. This was made even easier by each of these types of businesses being deemed as essential and therefore still able to be accessed during the days when every other outlet was shut down.

We can fully understand why grocery stores would be deemed essential. People need to eat and feed their families whether we are in normal times or during the unique times which COVID presented us. Online sites such as Amazon which also sold essential items such as toilet paper and food could also be reasonably thought okay to remain open during the shutdown. Some may have a hard time understanding why liquor stores were deemed essential. To most people, alcohol is not something they need to get by on a day-to-day basis.

What is hard to understand is the medical problems that come with a dependency on alcohol. The withdrawals associated with alcoholism can be debilitating and force people into the hospital. Even when not in the pandemic this is troubling, but during a time when every hospital bed was crucial, someone suffering from the shakes and other symptoms of withdrawal would take space from a person in the throws of the Coronavirus and needing all the help they can get to fight for survival.

The question remains though if liquor stores should have been given full essential status for everyone. The rise of people who used alcohol to help cope with the realities of life during the pandemic gives pause to think if there was a better way. With access to alcohol as one would have access to bread and water, it was easy for anyone to turn to drinking as a coping mechanism. Some options could have been setting very limited hours, limited options or even limiting the amount that people could purchase as a lot of supermarkets did with toilet paper and disinfectant wipes.

If you are having a problem with alcohol please contact us at (973)773-7600 or use the contact us form here at

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