By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming’s alcohol consumption and sales went up in the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a University of Wyoming survey.
The survey by the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center showed that 16.5% of the 498 People questioned reported their alcohol consumption increased in March, April and May.
Most of those questioned in June about the reasons for their increased alcohol consumption, 60.4%, said they drank more because they were bored, while 46.2% said they drank more because they were isolated from others and 43.5% identified stress as a reason they drank more.
Most of those questioned, 75.9%, said their alcohol consumption stayed about the same from March through May, while 7.6% said they drank less than in the months prior to the pandemic.
Alcohol sales from January to May also increased over 2019 figures, the survey said, growing by about 5% despite the fact that about half of the 1,383 businesses licensed to sell alcohol in Wyoming were closed during during March and April and part of May by public health orders.
According to the center, alcohol sales in March totaled about $10.8 million, an increase of about $1.3 million from March of 2019. Alcohol sales in February were about $600,000 ahead of February 2019 numbers. By April, 2019 and 2020 figures were almost equal at about $9.8 million.
The online survey, with a margin of error of 4.4%, involved polling randomly selected members of the center’s WyoSpeaks panel, a group of Wyoming residents who have indicated their willingness to respond to survey requests.