Can we really not live without alcohol?

Rosalia David

SINCE the President declared a state of emergency last month prohibiting the sale of liquor during the lockdown, we have seen quite a number of people flocking to shops to buy enough stock for the 21 days, while others are risking their lives and liberty during the lockdown just to get a sip.

Even though measures have been put in place to make sure that alcohol is not accessible, as it is among the commodities declared non-essential, unlike food, medicine and the provision of water, people are going as far as buying a single beer for more than N$30.

Not only that, the ban on the sale of alcohol has also been met with mixed reactions on social media where many were up in arms against the strict measures, saying that drinking was the only thing that would keep them “sane” during these trying times.

It is unbelievable that some enterprising drinkers went as far as brewing their own alcohol at home, guided by YouTube aficionados just to get that ‘vibe’, while some said they will drink like there is no tomorrow once the bars re-open.

The question is, are we really a nation that cannot live without drinking alcohol? Well, the complaints and the depression people have been talking about on social media proves that many young Namibians are accustomed to living the high life.

Almost every day people want to know where they can buy alcohol backdoor, despite the legal implications. A few days ago, 34 people were each fined between N$2 000 and N$4 000 by the police for selling alcohol, which could be the result of being pressured by customers into selling them alcohol and by the prospect of making a quick buck.

I personally don’t think 21 days is a long time to be required to stay sober and be productive, doing things such as exercise, reading or basically finding yourself during this time, or to put yourself to the test in terms of how long you’re able to cope without alcohol – for perhaps the first time.

The alcohol ban is clearly not only a Namibian problem, but has also manifested in other affected countries such as South Africa. Just a few days ago, a number of South Africans were busted for selling alcohol in cooking oil containers while the number of incidents of looting of liquor stores continues to increase. In fact, three men were arrested for breaking into a bottle store in Stellenbosch. Really?

It is that bad!