According to Nielsen market research firm, alcoholic beverage sales spiked 55 percent in the week ending March 21. While many businesses have been forced to close, liquor stores are deemed essential and remain open during the stay-at-home order. This is due to the fact that these stores also sell goods such as water, perishable snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages.

A majority of Americans are currently under a stay-at-home order. States with the most strict social distancing measures include New York, California, Connecticut, Washington, Rhode Island, Alaska, Colorado, Vermont, Michigan, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Hawaii. In Maine, violators of the "Stay Healthy at Home Mandate" are subject to up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

There are healthier alternatives than turning to a substance to help cope with stress and the feeling of isolation.

Listed below are ideas and inspiration on ways to spend free time (all recommended to be done at a safe six feet apart)

Internet access? Here are a few ideas:

Maintain and build quality relationships:
A trendy and safe way to practice social distancing while still socializing can be done through virtual get togethers with friends. You can catch up as you hold virrtual parties or do activities.

  • Arts or crafts together: paint pictures, make bracelets, string art boards
  • Play games: Cards Against Humanity, Clue (available on the app store, or google play store for $3.99)
  • Have a Netflix Party: Download the Google Chrome extension and watch Netflix together. Click the link for more information.
  • Scroll through instagram using the new co-watching feature. This can be started by tapping the video camera icon in the top-right corner of any existing direct message. Once in the video chat, a photo icon should appear in the bottom-left corner of the screen to access the co-sharing feature. From there, you'll be able to choose photos and videos you've liked and bookmarked to share with the group you're video-chatting.
  • Race your friends in Mario Kart Tour, available for free on google play stores and the app store
  • Adobe Suites has online learning classes offered at discounted rates, you can develop new skills to boost your resume.
  • Challenge friends to games on facebook messenger (Words With Friends)
  • Libraries are allowing people to check out books online. Put in the library card information and you can virtually, "check out" a book online.
  • Duolingo or Khan Academy - Learn a new language through easy to use apps
  • Geoguessr.com - Using Google Maps, you'll be placed somewhere in the world and have to guess where you are

No internet? No problem, here are more ideas:

There was a time when the internet was not around (shocking, I know) but connections were formed by other means.

  • Play board games/card games with the people in your household
  • Enjoy the sunshine
  • Take your pet for a walk (dog, cat, goat, whatever animal you consider a pet)
  • Do an outdoor/indoor physical activity: Get your blood pumping. Dance around. Go hiking.
  • Spring cleaning! Rearrange your living environment. Read up on feng shui, first figure out what it means and then do it in your own home. We could all use a little harmony during this stressful time.
  • Get the garden ready! Prune your flowers.
  • Work on your cooking skills. Whip up a new dish with the ingredients you have on hand. 
  • Check on your friends, near and far. Call them, write letters.
  • Find a penpal: this is a great activity to do if you have children at home. Have them practice their writing skills and write letters to distant relatives or friends.
  • Find a good book.
  • Develop essential life skills: balance a checkbook, learn to sew, build something 

Sources:
https://www.newsweek.com/us-alcohol-sales-increase-55-percent-one-week-amid-coronavirus-pandemic-1495510