By now, we all know that frequent hand washing is the easiest way to prevent Coronavirus. If you’re unable to wash, using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be a good stopgap. That being said, finding some for purchase is nearly impossible. In the wake of shameless profiteering from the COVID-19 pandemic, stockpiling and fear-mongering have left many without access to even the smallest amount of hand sanitizer. In response, liquor distilleries are considering the health and safety of the population at large versus lining their pockets.
Distilleries are combatting the hand sanitizer shortage by creating their own alcohol-based solutions with many giving it away at no cost. Some are packaging it in small bottles, while others are encouraging people to bring in their own containers.
Old Fourth Distillery in Atlanta started making hand sanitizer using aloe vera gel and 95% ethanol. On Thursday, they started distributing it for free.
“Due to the recent reports of outages and low supply in our community, We have decided to provide hand sanitizer free of charge to anyone in need,” they wrote in an Instagram post last week. By Saturday, they had run out.
The Moonrise Distillery in Clayton, Georgia, is making hand sanitizer using botanical gin infused with natural aloe vera. “While washing hands with soap and water remains the best solution, we hope the sanitizer will help when that is not possible,” they wrote on Facebook. To offset their production costs, both distilleries are accepting donations.
Meanwhile, the Durham Distillery in North Carolina is donating its own solution – made of 70% ethanol and distilled water – to members of the hospitality industry for high-touch zones such as faucets and door handles. Another distillery in Oregon reported last week that it was handing out free hand sanitizer while supplies last.
Responses to these actions have met with enthusiastic responses from “Y’all still have some available?” to “More breweries/distilleries need to do this!” A favorite emoji response: applause.