It would appear that Covid-19 has driven British people to excess drink and drugs. This is according to respondents of the Global Drug Survey Covid-19 special edition. For example, it seems like 46.8% of respondents have reported drinking earlier in the day during the pandemic, the most of the twelve countries include in the survey results.

This caught my eye when I read this story reported in the Guardian today, and I did wonder if it was the worst possible UK-focused headline that the newspaper could have generated, based on the contents of the Global Drug Survey findings. Bad news sells, of course.

Anyway, the answer to this question is… Probably.

Here is the survey result, which show the United Kingdom sitting at the head of the boozing table:

So, on the face of it, this does not look good for the United Kingdom, does it?

However, it is interesting to note that a country widely regarded as having had a very robust – and some might say, most inspiring – response to the Covid-19 pandemic, New Zealand, feature in the top half of this list as well, ranking in fifth on 36.8%.

Scroll through the report and you find an even more eye-catching piece of information. Look at where New Zealand feature in the binge drinking chart:

New Zealand rank second for binge drinking! God knows how they would have responded if Jacinda Ahern had come up with a bad Covid-19 plan of action for her country!

Time may well tell that the United Kingdom’s response to Covid-19 has been sub-standard, but there is probably a lesson to be learned here about statistics being able to tell any story you want them to.

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