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Friday, May 15, 2020

A Guide to Safely and Responsibly Getting Bourbon During COVID-19

COVID-19 has brought unprecedented times upon us. It's important to be safe and take every precaution we can not to contract the disease or spread it to others. There hasn't been a pandemic this bad in over 100 years. It's something we need to take seriously.

Thankfully, I'm here with a list of best practices and safeguards I recommend when getting alcohol or searching for a hard to find or specific bottle.

1. Drink what you have at home! 

This is an amazing opportunity to go through some of the bottles you've been saving. So far I've opened both a Blanton's and an E.H. Taylor bottle that I had been saving. Soon, I hope to compare Woodford Double Oaked to a bottle of Woodford Double Double Oaked that I picked up at the distillery. There's never been a better time to try the bottles you've been saving.
2. If you need bourbon, consolidate your trips. 

Anything we can do to limit our exposure to others and places will help us beat this virus. Since I've been quarantined at home since mid March, I've made two trips to the liquor store. Both coincided with grocery trips and both involved buying more than I usually would. This included buying handles of Woodford instead of smaller bottles of multiple varieties. 

3. Check the state inventory website to see if your local store has inventory. 

I wrote an article last year on how to check inventory to see if the store has what you are looking for prior to heading out. It's a great resource.

4. Call the store to ensure they actually have quantity in stock. 

Often times, the inventory checker is hours behind so it's a best practice to call the store prior to going out to ensure they have the specific bottle you're looking for in stock. If they do, ask to set one aside for you. Many of the better stores will keep one reserved for you for an hour or two.

5. Wear a mask when you go (it's the right thing to do)

As Dr. Amy says... "Don your cape". The mask isn't only for you, but also protects others from you if you are asymptomatic. It's also the courteous thing to do. #inThisTogetherOhio.

6. Maintain social distancing when you go... 

Be six feet at all times when possible. For context... things that are around six feet long... a giraffe's neck, a Christmas tree, two golden retrievers standing end-to-end, the height of a refrigerator... well, you get the idea. 

7. Wipe down the bottle when you get home with an antibacterial wipe and wash your hands
Don't assume that others haven't touched the bottle and that it's safe. It's recommended to either wipe down the bottle with an antibacterial wipe or quarantine the bottle. It sounds crazy, but the virus can live for days on various surfaces. Don't take anything for granted. And of course, wash your hands after touching anything that others have touched. 

8. Be kind

This is the most important thing. This pandemic sucks for everyone... it sucks the most for the people at the front lines and those that are at the highest risk (immune compromised and those who are older). I know firsthand the mental and physical impact this has had for my wife who is a first responder at a local hospital. Most people didn't sign-up for the added exposure and risk when they applied for the jobs at your local liquor or grocery store. We're all in this together and the only way we'll minimize the impact is by working together. 

What do you think? Let me know in the comments section.

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