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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

DiDi to delist from NYSE under Chinese govt pressure

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Chinese ride-hail giant DiDi said it will delist from the New York Stock Exchange, following a Chinese government crackdown on foreign listings.

Why it matters: This reflects how geopolitical tensions are bleeding into the capital markets.

Updated 20 mins ago - Health

Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states

A healthcare worker inserts a Covid-19 rapid test into a machine in Denver, Colorado. Photo: Daniel Brenner/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Hawaii became on Thursday the fifth state to confirm the newly discovered Omicron variant after New York announced five new cases earlier in the day.

The latest: In Hawaii, the variant was found in an unvaccinated O'ahu resident with moderate symptoms who had previously been infected with COVID-19, per a state health department statement. The variant has also been confirmed in California, Colorado and Minnesota.

Senate Dems receive max donations from Nord Stream 2 lobbyist

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A major Democratic donor and Nord Stream 2 lobbyist has made maximum campaign contributions this year to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and vulnerable Senate Democrats, campaign finance records show.

Why it matters: If pressure from the White House to vote against reimposing sanctions on the Russia-backed natural gas pipeline weren't enough, Democrats who back such legislation also will be at loggerheads with one of their party's top fundraisers.