Kenya: Coronavirus Lockdown Prompts Steep Rise in Alcohol Problems

When the anti-virus lockdown was announced in Britain, Chris McLone's adult daughter moved out to protect her dad. But that left Chris lonely, anxious and increasingly depressed. For solace, he turned to the bottle.

A sales manager in his late 40s living on Teesside in the north of England, Chris was always a drinker but in a social way; it was never a problem.

As the lockdown dragged on, however, the drinking escalated.

Chris said, "In the end, I was drinking very early in the morning to stop the symptoms of withdrawal upon waking. I wanted to stop but I wasn't in control and that was frightening. It was a horrible dark place that I was in."

Statistics demonstrate that there has been a marked increase in people needing help for alcohol addiction since the coronavirus struck last March.

The British Liver Trust helpline said it received a 500 per cent increase in calls after the lockdown began.

With the help of his family, Chris turned to addiction expert Dr Rob Hampton and the Steps Together rehabilitation service.

Detoxification

Dr Hampton said that within three weeks of lockdown many people living normal lives became dependent drinkers needing detoxification.

Lockdown was something totally new.

It meant you didn't have to get up every day to go to work or get the kids to school. Every day was Friday night and there was no reason to get up in the morning.

At the same time, many people felt insecure about their future and worried about job security and finance.

Chris followed the advice of medical experts and has been sober now for more than two months. He is determined there will be no relapse. "Sobriety is fantastic," he said. "I can't explain how good I feel."

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Despite much evidence to the contrary, there are people who still fail to treat Covid-19 seriously.

In UK, there are frequent reports of police breaking up night-time parties of up to 100 people and in parts of Africa there is a false belief that the virus cannot exist in very hot temperatures.

Worst of all are those who persist in believing the virus is some sort of international con job.

Brian Hitchens, a Florida taxi driver, believed online claims that the virus was a hoax, a fabrication or just a variant of flu. He and his wife, Erin, refused to take precautions and did not seek help when they both fell ill in May.

Brian recovered but his wife died from heart problems connected to the virus.

He said, "I wish I had listened. This is a real virus.

I hope my wife will forgive me."

* * *

One of the staple events of the British summer is a series of classical Promenade Concerts organised by the BBC and highlighted on television by the popular "Last Night of the Proms."

Traditionally, the final programme includes two famous patriotic anthems, which the audience sings, namely Rule, Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory.

What makes many people uncomfortable are some of the words, for example, "Britannia rules the waves," "Britons never shall be slaves," and references to the "might" of the former British Empire.

Spokesmen for ethnic minorities denounced the words as offensive and jingoistic and the Sunday Times reported pressure for the two pieces to be axed from this year's Last Night on September 12.

The solution announced by the BBC is that the two items will be retained but in orchestral versions only, that is, without lyrics.

However the words will return to be sung again at the Last Night concert in 2021.

* * *

Mohammed Faraji made a disastrous mistake when he left his laptop open and logged on. In no time, his six-year-old computer-savvy son, Ario, had bought a GBP19,000 truck on eBay.

He said, "My son is only little but he's clever for his age and good with computers. And he loves monster trucks. "

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Mohammed, a takeaway worker from Newcastle upon Tyne, is trying desperately to have the transaction cancelled.

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A little girl asks her mother, "Mummy, why are some of your hairs white?" Mother: "Whenever you do anything naughty or make me unhappy, one of my hairs turns white." Daughter: "Mummy, why are all of grandma's hairs white?"

A Roman walks into a bar and sticks up two fingers.

Says the barman, "Five beers, sir, coming right up."

Three little boys are arguing about their dads.

The first says, "My dad scribbles some words on a paper and calls it a poem and the publisher pays him ten pounds."

The second boy says, "My dad scribbles some words on a paper and calls it a song and he gets a hundred pounds."

The third boy says, "My dad scribbles some words on a paper and calls it a sermon and it takes eight people to collect all the money."

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