Are parents drinking too much while at home with their children in lockdown?
"We live opposite a liquor store. I've never seen it so busy."
People are buying huge quantities. (iStock)

Despite the president's urging, many South Africans resorted to panic buying in the days leading up to the nationwide lockdown that starts today, and according to one Parent24 reader, they didn't just stockpile essential items this week.

Here's what she shared with us: 

"We live opposite a liquor store. I've never seen it so busy... and people are buying huge quantities. Usually most people walk out with amounts they can carry, now purchases are going out in crates in tip trolleys. I'm concerned for the children in those households."

'The last thing we should be doing'

"Ramping up our wine habit to cope with this crisis is the last thing we should be doing" right now, says Janet Gourand, founder of World Without Wine (WWW), the online community promoting alcohol-free living. 

According the WWW founder staying safe now also means getting into health-promoting habits. 

"Of course we must wash our hands, self distance and stay home but we must also strengthen our immune systems. One thing we know for sure is that alcohol weakens our immune systems. It increases levels of inflammation and compromises our gut health." 

'It's tempting to numb ourselves with wine' 

In addition to its ability to weaken the immune system overall, alcohol also negatively impacts our sleeping patterns and blood sugar levels, says Gourand who also told Parent24 about the mental impact of excessive alcohol consumption. 

Wanting to numb our heightened state of emotion is an expected emotion as we face "this unprecedented situation," admits Gourand, who also warns that we often end up doing the opposite. 

"Drinking alcohol is like pouring gasoline on our anxiety. It's tempting to numb ourselves with wine, but in fact, it's the worst thing we could do." 

21 Day Lockdown Challenge

Given that our usual routines have been completely disrupted, the lockdown could be looked at as an ideal time to try new and radical things – like alcohol-free living suggests Gourand who says South Africans might want to try a 21 Day Lockdown Challenge. 

"Ditching the drink for 21 days will not only make your body stronger, healthier and ready to fight off illness, but it will also help your mental health." 

If you need a bit of online and community support to get you through, then check out and sign up for the free 21 Day Lockdown Challenge. 

'Re-configure your life'

Apart from maintaining optimal health, Gourand is also challenging South Africans to a complete life overhaul.

"Think outside the box and use this opportunity to re-configure your life," she says. 

Here are some of her tips to take on board: 

  • Create a brand new routine which involves daily exercise, eating well and drinking plenty of water. 
  • Agree to a daily timetable with the kids so they can help with the chores and keep their schoolwork on track.
  • Use this lockdown to do all those things you've meant to do for ages but never had the time. 
  • Seek an online community to stay motivated 

What's your mindset like as we head into the 21-day lockdown? 

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