assorted wine bottles
Photo by Chris F on

Some new research from South Africa shows that their COVID-19 prohibition on alcohol came with some benefits.

…We find that this policy causally reduced injury-induced mortality in the country by at least 14% during the five weeks of the ban….We also document a sharp drop in violent crimes, indicating a tight link between alcohol and aggressive behavior (sic) in society…

Alcohol, violence and injury-induced mortality: Evidence from a modern-day prohibition

Of course, to offset such benefits, prohibitions also come with costs, especially if they are imposed for long-terms. Such long-term prohibitions appear to allow criminal gangs to rise up and cause significant problems.

Thus, I doubt Government prohibitions on alcohol would offer an overall benefit for the Isle of Man (or many other entire Anglo-nations) – but for every policy, there are likely to be some costs and some benefits. We then should weigh up all the cost and all the benefits to come to a decision.

There are obvious parallels to Government-mandated lockdowns here in the Isle of Man: there were costs to imposing them, and there were benefits. Weighing up the various costs and benefits will remain one of the biggest challenges for social sciences for the 2020s.

Michael Josem is a long-term consumer advocate, most prominently as a global leader in combating fraud in the online gambling industry. He was in part the inspiration for the 20th Century Fox Movie, Runner Runner, starring Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake.

Josem has over a decade of experience as a senior business leader working across various high-tech and online industries, and takes action to build a better community. His primary volunteer roles include service for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and Graih, the homelessness charity.