Alcohol Use Before and During Pandemics and Quarantine Restrictions in Iceland. COVID-19, 2020 –2021
- Jóna Margrét Ólafsdóttir
This study was designed to explore if alcohol consumption patterns had changes among Icelanders following the pandemic restrictions and lockdown in two times points. Questioners was carried out in May 2020 five months after the pandemic and restrictions COVID-19 were established in Iceland and again ten months later in March 2021. The research questions were as follows. Firstly, did individuals drink more or less alcoholic beverages than usual in the last two months than last twelve months before? Secondly, have individuals been drunk (5 or more drinks in the same sitting) more often or less in the last two months than last twelve months before? And thirdly, participants were also asked about their background, such as gender, age, education, work, marital status, household and monthly income related to those questions.
Quantitative methods were used, the data collection was conducted in May 2020 and March 2021. In the year 2020, a random sample of 850 participants answered questions about their alcohol consumption at the time point compared to last twelve months for May of 2020 and in March 2021 another 864 randomly selected participants answered the same survey. The participants answered the questions on a five-point Likert scale. The data was analysed descriptively.
More than a half of the participants did not experience any changing in their alcohol consumption. Further, participants experienced less frequent drinking and fewer drinks during the pandemic and lockdown compering to the last twelve months before the survey both 2020 and 2021. Interesting results of this study include the fact that alcohol consumption seems to increase between the two years or as the epidemic progressed. Further, the participants who answered the survey and lived with their families, i.e. spouses and children, reported the most changes in their alcohol consumption between the years of 2020 and 2021.
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