Good news for fellow drunks: St. Louis-area liquor stores have been deemed "essential" by St. Louis-area officials and will be exempted from today's "stay at home" order that will force businesses across the region to close in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The stay at home order, which goes into effect Monday in both St. Louis city and county, essentially strongly encourages people to leave their house only if absolutely necessary and mandates that businesses whose services are not deemed essential — tattoo parlors, movie theaters, playgrounds, bowling alleys, etc. — close their doors to the public for the time being.
But there are exceptions for businesses that provide things that the public needs at this time. That includes health care facilities, of course, as well as grocery stores, farmers' markets, produce stands, gas stations and the like.
And, because the ability to get blind drunk in our homes in the absence of anything better to do is truly essential in these trying times, it also includes liquor stores.
Well, OK, that's not exactly how the officials put it. In reality, the stores fall under the category of "essential" because of the other things they provide — primarily food and water and toiletries and similar provisions necessary for humans to live. (The liquor store nearest to my house also sells cool pocket knives and boxes of whip-its — essentials, to be sure.)
And just so there is no room for confusion, County Executive Sam Page made clear in no uncertain terms that the stores would be allowed to remain open, as reported on Twitter by KSDK's Casey Nolen:
Here’s the update we needed. @DrSamPage just said liquor stores will be considered essential services.— Casey Nolen (@CaseyNolen) March 21, 2020
To clarify in a less flippant way...the County Exec said many of these stores provide people access to other supplies and essential items. https://t.co/XMjxGBVysA— Casey Nolen (@CaseyNolen) March 21, 2020
Meanwhile, across the river in Illinois, Governor J.B. Pritzker's statewide stay-at-home order has also exempted liquor stores as "essential" during the lockdown — in addition to marijuana dispensaries.
In other words: Sure, we gotta hunker down, but everything is going to be just fine, everybody. Just fine.
Daniel Hill was the RFT's music editor until he was laid off three days ago, and now he just refuses to leave. Follow him on Twitter at @rftmusic.