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During Coronavirus Crisis, Booze Sales See Major Spike

It’s Happy Hour: Home Edition.

First, it’s an extra beer after a long day of figuring out how to unmute your microphone in a teleconference, and the next thing you know the suddenly-anointed homeschool principle is slipping some Jameson into her coffee before homeroom…which is also the dining room.

There are a whole lot of people bored at home right now, waiting for this invisible menace to drown in the distance that we put between one another.  That means boredom, and boredom can lead to experimentation or a deviation from the norm.

And, with the gravity of the situation out there purportedly coming to a head in the next several days, Americans are dulling the pain with alcohol.

U.S. sales of alcoholic beverages rose 55% in the week ending March 21, according to market research firm Nielsen. Spirits like tequila, gin and pre-mixed cocktails led the way, with sales jumping 75% compared to the same period last year. Wine sales were up 66% while beer sales rose 42%. And online sales far outpaced in-store sales.

Nielsen said online alcohol sales were up 243%. Danelle Kosmal, a Nielsen vice president, suspects growth rates peaked that week as people loaded up their pantries before state stay-at-home orders went into effect.

Of course, with many on social media cynically attempting to portray this pandemic as the end of the world, we wouldn’t be surprised if there weren’t a few happy hours happening in the homestead this week.

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