Mexico shoppers buy mass amounts of beer during coronavirus pandemic

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Forget toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

Shoppers in Mexico are panic-buying beer as brewing plants across the country have temporarily shut down in response to the government’s order that all nonessential industries and businesses close in April in an effort to contain the coronavirus.

Groupo Modelo, the maker of several popular beer brands, including Pacifica, Corona and Modelo, suspended production after authorities deemed its breweries nonessential. Dutch-brewer Heineken also halted its operations in Mexico.

Videos of shoppers stocking up on beer went viral on social media. NPR reported some are using the hashtag #ConLasChelasNo, which translates to #Don’tMessWithMyBeer.

Authorities in several Mexican states have either banned alcohol sales or are limiting purchases of alcohol, NPR reported. In the state of Nuevo Leon, Gov. Jaime Rodríguez Calderón recommended banning alcohol sales, saying consumption could lead to an uptick in domestic violence as families stuck together at home.

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Mexico has 2,143 known COVID-19 cases as of Monday afternoon, including 94 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.