Elle: The Year Of Drinking Dangerously

BY KELLEY MANLEY DEC 3, 2020 Retrieved from https://www.elle.com/culture/a34823556/quarantine-drinking-dangerously-2020/

a growing number of women are boozing more than ever during covid—but what we’re seeking in alcohol may never be found at the bottom of a glass


One evening in late August, I was discussing pandemic parenting and school opening plans with another mom from a safe distance at a pool in Denver. As we chatted, I thought to myself that she seemed like the kind of mother who had it all together—cheery, beautiful, chic in her Tory Burch one-piece, and seemingly unfazed by whining toddlers or the uncertainty of living and mothering in the time of COVID-19. As she turned to leave, she reached for the items she’d nearly left behind: “Can’t forget the two most important things during the pandemic: wine and a mask,” she said with a laugh.

Now more and more women seem to agree. Wine has long been a staple in many moms’ parenting tool kits, but women are leaning on it more than ever this year. “All of a sudden, we’re full-time housekeepers, teachers, and short-order cooks as well as parents. And we’re also the constant bearers of bad news to our kids: First, spring break is canceled; then school, then playdates,” says a 40-year-old mom in Denver. “At a time when there’s not much to look forward to, wine is [a light] at the end of the day.”

Isolation, uncertainty, overwhelming domestic duties, health concerns, and financial worries have created the perfect storm for a mental health crisis. By late June, 40 percent of American adults reported struggling with mental health or substance use, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Women have been disproportionately impacted, taking on a greater share of parenting, teaching, and household duties, and leaving the workforce at four times the rate of men. (In September alone, 865,000 women dropped out of the workforce, compared to 216,000 men, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.) Thirty-six percent of women experience anxiety, and women are also twice as likely as men to experience severe stress and major depression.

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