BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: COVID-19 may be driving me to drink, and that’s fine because I’m walking, not driving.


“If you live in the Bay Area, you’re most likely under mandatory shelter-in-place orders right now.”

For all we know, this could be coming to Indiana. Or not.

My Italian pen pal Fabio hails from Milan in the region of Lombardy, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m not entirely sure where he lives nowadays. Earlier Fabio was monitoring one of my social media discussions about efforts to temporarily suspend carryout alcohol restrictions in Indiana.

(As of this afternoon, Governor Andy Beshear has confirmed that Kentucky will be doing so, and I’m cautiously optimistic this will occur in Indiana as well.)

To paraphrase, Fabio wrote that he hasn’t worked in two weeks and things in Milan are so bad in terms of illness and loss of life that he can’t think much about food and drink.

This is sobering, no puns intended.

I’ve read enough history to understand what Fabio is saying, even if I haven’t experienced it myself. It would be the height of absurdity for me or anyone else to marginalize his thoughts, because he’s in or near the middle of it, and Italy is suffering grievously — a state of affairs that America might well be facing.

And yet, everything else aside, it seems to me that we must function in the present as constituted right now. This doesn’t mean there is no future, or that we’re excused from planning for it. I feel an obligation to my team to do whatever I can to help put us in position to endure this.

We accept the governor’s shutdown, and merely want to modify partial closure terms already mandated. Nothing ventured, nothing gained; anyway, if we went on full lockdown for two weeks, once this concluded we’d likely return to partial shutdown for an indeterminate period prior to opening back again in some semblance of normality.

I’m staying home as much as I can. We’d be decently equipped at the house to withstand a two-week mandated quarantine. There’s liquor, wine and beer. There might even be food.

As I’ve been writing this post, a report appeared saying that there are now five coronavirus cases in Floyd County out of 50-something in the entire state of Indiana. Our county is small, and we have 10% of the reported cases? Of course we also know the absence of testing overall means these numbers surely are being under-reported.

Don’t ask me to summarize. We’re all just stream of consciousness until the fog lifts. It drives me to drink, and I’m not saying no.

The coronavirus is driving us to drink. Maybe that’s OK
, by Esther Mobley (SF Chronicle)

This week, America discovered the peculiar pleasures of drinking under quarantine.

If you live in the Bay Area, you’re most likely under mandatory shelter-in-place orders right now. If you’re not, you’re probably exercising some version of social distancing (at least I hope you are) and wondering what measures your community will implement in the coming days and weeks to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Your first concern is probably not how and what you will drink (at least I hope it’s not), but once you’ve gotten the bottom rungs of the hierarchy of needs secured — food, medications, all that toilet paper you’ve been hoarding — you might, as I am, be wondering how to add a little bit of relief and delight to the indefinite indoor sentence that lies ahead.

Why, under these particularly bizarre circumstances, are we feeling so drawn to a drink?

I have some theories …