Liquor Stores Remain Open In Some States As "Essential Businesses"
Why are liquor stores considered essential?
Liquor stores will remain open in some states while most other businesses are closed during the coronavirus pandemic. Some people can't wrap their heads around why New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and other governors have included liquor stores on the short list of essential retail businesses to continue operating while so many other businesses have been ordered to be closed. There might be a good reason for the decision. So, what is the reason?
Public Health Reason
Addiction experts say there may be a public health reason for keeping the liquor stores open. Paul Nestadt, assistant professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is convinced that if someone is dependent on alcohol and cannot get it, that person could go into withdrawal. Research has proven that any withdrawal is painful, but withdrawal from alcohol could lead to death. Alcohol is one of the few substances that could cause death for a dependent person during withdrawal. Withdrawing from cocaine or heroin is a terrible process, but a person won't die from those drugs.
An alcoholic can experience health issues if he is suddenly cut off from liquor. The withdrawal process could include discomfort, fatigue, stomach distress, tremors, shakes, severe body aches, hallucinations, and seizures.
A person who goes through alcoholic withdrawal might end up in the hospital during the coronavirus pandemic at a time when patients with coronavirus symptoms might require the attention of doctors and nurses. As many people as possible should stay away from hospitals and emergency rooms so those infected with COVID-19 can have the space and attention of the medical staff. Officials and experts say if alcohol was not available during this time of social distancing and isolation, emergency rooms would be flooded.
A person going through withdrawal might need a doctor to supervise the process, according to Ashley Linden-Carmichael, an assistant research professor at the Pennsylvania State University. Now is a difficult time for alcoholics to get the treatment they need during a withdrawal.
Keeping liquor stores open during the coronavirus pandemic would prevent alcohol withdrawal and people out of the hospitals where they would need to detox.
Not on List of Essential Businesses for All States
New York and New Jersey are keeping liquor stores open, but some states have required their liquor stores to be closed because all state governors are not in agreement that liquor stores are essential businesses. It is up to each state and city to decide.
Besides New York and New Jersey, Illinois is keeping liquor stores open. The city of Denver has closed its liquor stores. Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board closed all state-owned Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores. Alabama allows curbside sales of alcoholic beverages at licensed locations in the state. Liquor stores are allowed to stay open in California, according to Governor Gavin Newsom.
Bars and Nightclubs Are Closed
Another reason liquor stores will remain open is because bars and nightclubs are closed, and people want someplace where they can get the alcoholic beverages they have a habit of drinking.
According to the New York Liquor Store Association, liquor stores are considered essential businesses during the outbreak of COVID-19. Members of the organization are trying to help the public get through these unusual and challenging times. While liquor stores will remain open in some states, precautions are taken to protect the staff and customers by following the guidelines issued by federal, state and local governments.
List of Essential Retail Businesses
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo joins other governors by keeping liquor stores open as essential retail businesses while other retail businesses must remain closed.
The list of essential retail businesses includes grocery stores, liquid stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, farmer’s markets, gas stations, restaurants and bars for take-out and delivery, banks, hardware and building material stores.
Information in this article contains medical advice. The content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or medical advice from a licensed health professional. Seek immediate help if you experience a medical emergency.