- - Thursday, April 2, 2020

Liquor sales have risen 55 percent since the onset of the coronavirus crisis. This does not mean, as some have suggested, that Americans are getting tanked more — at least not necessarily. It’s more likely that the same impulse that pushed Americans to stock up on hand sanitizer and toilet paper has transferred to booze as well. If you’re not going to want to leave the house for weeks or even months on end, you might as well stock up.

States that closed their businesses deemed essential have tended to classify liquor stores among the essential. This makes sense. For one, it’s an act of mercy: In this time of worry and fear, it behooves the authorities to allow Americans the ability to relax in one of the few remaining ways available. Also, there are some people — terribly ill alcoholics — who could literally die if denied the stuff. It’s sad but true.

Of course, there are some whose “never let a crisis go to waste” attitude has moved onto booze. Writing in the left-wing British newspaper the Independent, a busybody named Ian Hamilton argues that keeping liquor stores open is a result of alcohol industry lobbying. “Let’s try ‘Dry Covid,’” he proposes.

Actually, let’s not.

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