- Liquor stores were deemed essential businesses in almost every state in the US as other stores were forced to shut down.
- They were deemed essential partly because of how dangerous it could be for alcohol-dependent people to undergo withdrawal, especially at a time when hospitals are stretched thin due to COVID-19.
- Shutting down liquor stores could also persuade people to travel farther to get alcohol and spark backlash from angry citizens.
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2020欧洲杯夺冠热门As states deemed liquor stores essential businesses, it was a lighthearted joke for many people who were happy to have an extra glass of wine while sheltering in place.
But for some the decision to make liquor stores essential was deeply serious.
Christopher O'Hanlon, who works at a liquor store in New Jersey, told Business Insider2020欧洲杯夺冠热门 that he and others in the industry have a firsthand look at why it is crucial for their stores to stay open.
2020欧洲杯夺冠热门"You don't want those people to quit cold turkey," O'Hanlon told Business Insider. "You don't want those people to flood hospitals because, unfortunately, at this stage, we don't have, there's not enough beds for them."
2020欧洲杯夺冠热门In an , Max Jordan Nguemeni Tiako and Kelsey C. Priest explain that closing liquor stores could be catastrophic for people with alcohol use disorder, or AUD. Withdrawal can be dangerous, especially at a time when hospitals and healthcare workers are stretched thin because of COVID-19.
"Because so few people have access to medications for AUD, access to alcohol becomes a matter of life or death," Tiako and Priest write. "If alcohol is unavailable, particularly liquor, people may find alcohol from other unsafe sources, specifically non-beverage alcohol," such as rubbing alcohol, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, or car coolant.
2020欧洲杯夺冠热门At the same time, O'Hanlon worries that classifying stores at essential might put workers at risk of catching the coronavirus.
2020欧洲杯夺冠热门"We don't want people in hospital rooms because they're having withdrawal symptoms," O'Hanlon said. "We need to make sure their lives are protected as well. But we also want to protect our lives."
Classifying liquor stores as nonessential can lead to people traveling more — and backlash against the government
David Henkes, a global food and beverage consultant for Technomic, told Business Insider that forcing liquor stores and wine shops to shut down can also result in other unintended and potentially dangerous consequences.
2020欧洲杯夺冠热门Pennsylvania is the only state that has ordered all liquor stores to shut down as nonessential businesses. Instead of keeping people inside, the decision contributed to shoppers defying shelter-in-place orders and
2020欧洲杯夺冠热门It "becomes almost an impunitive at some point to say, well, we're going to exclude beverage alcohol, when it is something that people like and drink and enjoy," Henkes said. "Especially now when they're not driving, they're probably enjoying it a lot more responsibility than they were before."
In general, some experts have pushed back against the classification of some goods as essential and others as nonessential.
Henkes questioned the idea that some foods and beverages would be more essential than others. Neil Saunders, the managing director of GlobalData Retail, recently said on Twitter that distinctions could become "very arbitrary," and if the government becomes too restrictive, it could lose the support of the public.
2020欧洲杯夺冠热门"Generally, the public has been supportive of the restrictions as they see them as prudent and measured," Saunders wrote. "However, if government becomes too dictatorial and unreasonable in their actions, that support could start to wane."
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