Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans are doubling down on their worst habits to cope with the mental and emotional stress of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The pandemic will have a long-lasting impact on the health of the American people, in part due to the habits they'll pick up during the weeks and months they're forced to stay home.

Details: Substance abuse, a lack of physical stimulation and unhealthy diets are beginning to take a toll on Americans.

  • Alcohol sales were up 55% in the week ending March 21, according to Nielsen, which measures media as well as consumer markets. Spirits were up 75%, followed by wine up 66% and beer up 42%. Online alcohol sales were up 243%.
  • Weed sales are soaring in places across the country where buying marijuana is legal, although some businesses have been caught flat-footed by the demand.
  • Porn consumption is up, according to the website Pornhub. Traffic from the U.S. (Pornhub’s largest market) was up 6.4% on March 17.
  • People are eating more. With consumers relying mostly on nonperishable foods, like pasta and canned food, many are concerned about gaining weight — the "COVID-15" or the "quarantine 15."
  • And they're exercising less. According to data from 68,000 fitness trackers, Americans are moving less and sleeping more under quarantine, per CNBC. While many workouts have moved online, some are finding it difficult to get into a good workout routine at home or to find the time to do so while balancing work and child care duties.

Americans are streaming more television than ever before, and as a result, more people are binge-watching their favorite shows, meaning they're watching three or more episodes from a series at a time.

  • Gaming has also boomed. Twitch, Mixer, Caffeine and Discord, all new-age livestream gaming platforms, posted their best revenue-generating month in March, according to data from Apptopia.

The big picture: We already know that the coronavirus outbreak is starting to weigh on Americans’ mental and emotional health, according to the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index poll.

  • That's not likely to get any better as Americans overindulge in their favorite vices while they wait out the pandemic.
  • In addition, increased fear and stress are causing Americans to act out and embrace their worst instincts. There's some evidence that domestic violence is skyrocketing since the outbreak of the virus, and experts worry that more is on the way, according to Axios' Ina Fried.
  • Firearms sales have surged over the past month, too. March was the second-busiest month ever for gun sales, per the New York Times, and Axios' Stef Kight reports that the FBI processed 3.7 million gun background checks in March, more than any previous month.

The bottom line: The coronavirus lockdown is unhealthy for Americans on many levels — but it is keeping us alive.

Go deeper: The coronavirus' toll on our mental and emotional health

Go deeper

Trump announces plan to distribute 150 million rapid coronavirus tests

President Trump announced on Monday that the federal government will distribute 150 million rapid, point-of-care coronavirus tests to states over the next few weeks, including to K-12 schools and vulnerable communities like nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Why it matters: The Trump administration has stressed the importance of reopening schools in allowing parents to return to work and jumpstarting the economy.

Updated 53 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 33,217,895 — Total deaths: 999,273 — Total recoveries: 22,975,269Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 7,128,774 — Total deaths: 204,881 — Total recoveries: 2,766,280 — Total tests: 101,298,794Map.
  3. States: Cuomo extends New York moratorium on evictions until 2021.
  4. Business: Companies are still holding back earnings guidance.
  5. Health: The childless vaccine — Why kids get less severe coronavirus infections.
  6. World: India the second country after U.S. to hit 6 million cases.
54 mins ago - Podcasts

Digging into Trump's taxes

President Trump paid no federal income tax in 10 of the past 15 years, and just $750 in 2016 and 2017, according to a new report from the New York Times. He also is reported to have hundreds of millions of dollars in outstanding debts, most of which would come due during a second term.

Axios Re:Cap focuses on what is and isn't surprising about the revelations, plus how real estate developers are taxed, with Francine McKenna, an independent financial journalist and certified public accountant.