CAPE TOWN, South Africa — In South Africa, the government tried to control the COVID-19 outbreak by banning booze to keep people from gathering. Plus, sober South Africans were less likely to violently protest a complete lockdown.
You couldn't sit at a bar; you couldn't order a glass of wine; you couldn't even buy beer at the store.
There was an immediate public health benefit that had nothing to do with COVID-19. Suddenly, emergency rooms were empty, devoid of alcohol-related accidents.