The numbers are there to make it official: People turned to pizza, alcohol and marijuana to get through election day.
Americans were particularly concerned about this election, and there was no shortage of articles dealing with their reactions to the sudden onslaught of uncomfortable feelings – whether caused by stress, eating or excessive alcohol consumption.
But now, the numbers reported by suppliers of these services were so high that it suggests that people from both sides of the political spectrum were trying to stuff themselves with the warm, soothing taste of pizza. Many people also reportedly stocked up on liquor and marijuana, either in anticipation of an upcoming celebration or to forget the worries of defeat – or simply to numb themselves from the stress of waiting for results… and of waiting… and of waiting.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the on-demand alcohol delivery service Drizly, which operates in 26 states, reported that on Tuesday, Election Day, it sold an average of 68 percent more alcohol than on the four preceding Tuesdays. Sales were significantly higher in Washington, D.C. (plus 133 percent), New York City (plus 110 percent) and Los Angeles (plus 35 percent). People in the blue states where Drizly delivers were tougher, with sales up 75 percent from the previous four Tuesdays. However, customers in the red states where Drizly delivers still came in with a 33 percent increase.
Drizly reported that wine was the biggest seller of the day, accounting for 42 percent of sales. Vino barely managed to displace alcohol, which accounted for 41 percent of the company’s sales on Tuesday. Meanwhile, beer accounted for 15 percent of daily sales.
Compared to Tuesday the week before, California’s Eaze marijuana delivery service saw a 17 percent increase in weed shipments across the state on Election Day, with an 18 percent increase in Los Angeles alone. The company reported that its top-selling items were pre-rolled compounds and vaporizers. (After five more states voted on Tuesday to legalize recreational marijuana, stress over future elections could lead to even more business for potential legal THC delivery services).
Elsewhere, Google Trends tweeted on Tuesday afternoon that previous searches for pizza, Chinese food, liquor stores, sushi, and Mexican food were the most frequent in my area, in that order. A subsequent tweet from Google Trends reported that searches for “French fries near me” and “liquor store near me” reached record highs. Later, the website reported that searches for “cookies near me” reached an all-time high on Tuesday.
“French fries near me” and “liquor store near me” reached an all-time high in searchhttps://t.co/Gx6j7GtCJuhttps://t.co/Lf24eYg6uy pic.twitter.com/mma88WWmCR.
– GoogleTrends (@GoogleTrends) November 4, 2020
Of course, there was no lack of anecdotal evidence in the social media about people who eat stress, drink stress, and drive stress. New York Times technology columnist Kevin Roose shared his own sad story on Tuesday night about a lack of Ben & Jerry’s around him. He subtitled the tweet with: “Anxiety Index: The entire Ben & Jerry’s freezer in the grocery store is empty”.
Fear Index: “The entire freezer of Ben & Jerry’s in the grocery store is empty. pic.twitter.com/yA33OxD0Ix
– Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) November 3, 2020
His message prompted his followers to share their own photos of empty liquor shelves and endless humorous GIFs and images.
While there is a lighter side to all of these fears, there is legitimate concern among health professionals about the toll they are taking on the country’s nerves, especially given the fact that Americans are still struggling with the emotional weight of the ongoing pandemic. In a survey published last month, conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association, 78 percent of adults said the coronavirus pandemic was “a significant source of stress in their lives. Sixty-eight percent also said that the presidential election was already a significant source of stress in their lives, a sharp increase from the 52 percent of people who said the same thing in 2016.