So, how’s your Dry January going? Probably not great if, like most people in Hong Kong, you’re trying to power through this most disheartening first month of 2022. Our administrative nannies have shut down nighttime dining again. The prospect of borders reopening now feels even more remote than it did in December. Meanwhile, the political elite that flouted their own social distancing guidelines received nothing more than a slap on the wrist . At least Cathay Pacific fired their rule-breaking employees . I bet a few of you are struggling with the urge to reach for a glass of red or even a snifter of something stronger on the rocks. If you ask me, I say just go for it. Dry January be damned. The idea of avoiding alcohol for only a single month is honestly not going to change or improve your health in any way, especially if on February 1 you’re right back at the bar when happy hours start. Think of Dry January’s futility like a spouse promising: “Honey, this month I’m not going to cheat on you at all. It’s going do so much good for our marriage.” I understand that staying dry for a short period is designed to be good for your liver. But it’s 31 days of wasted effort if your February is extra wet. Incidentally, some researchers believe the rebound from abstaining from alcohol causes many to drink even more in the months after. ‘Total disaster’: winemakers in Italy, New Zealand, US on lasting the pandemic For most who join the hop-off-the-bandwagon trend, I suspect Dry January is a superficial gesture at best, something they half-heartedly agreed to on New Year’s Eve so they can flaunt a trendy hashtag. I wonder if some participants were even sober when they made the pledge. Worse are the really gung-ho folks, who likely won’t shut up about it, making them more insufferable and annoying than if they were just drunk. Like most New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and hit the gym, it’s a moot promise if, after the end of the month, you can’t be bothered any more to attend the yoga classes you signed up for. The reality is, people tend to regress to their weekend norms of Netflix and pizza washed down with a bottle of Chianti. I’ve always been a cynic about token campaigns and showboating activism. Turning off your office lights for a few minutes on Earth Day is pointless if you leave your computer and printer on after work the other 364 days. I have little time for “No Straw Day” when the same restaurants taking part continue to stick a plastic mixing spoon into my lemon tea. Incidentally, why do we even need straws, whether of plastic, paper or bamboo variety? I outgrew sippy cups around the time I stopped wetting my pants. Just drink straight from the glass, people! To raise awareness about other health topics, will we soon be confronted by “Fried Chicken-free February’? Or ‘Break the Bacon’ March? How about dentists around the world sponsoring a “Desert the Dessert” April, encouraging everyone to go sugar-free for a month for our teeth’s sake? Dry January began as a public health campaign to lessen binge drinking episodes in the United States and Europe. It’s an admirable cause, for sure, but there’s a flaw with the logic. If someone already consumes in moderation, there’s no need to go dry. However, if alcohol abuse is really an issue, Dry January is not going to be the answer. That is like Inviting Hannibal “the Cannibal” Lecter to stop eating his victims for a month, so in the future he will just nibble on fingers instead of eating the whole liver. Hong Kong gin brand named after a city street ruled offensive in UK For most alcoholics, going cold turkey doesn’t resolve addictions. It just leads to relapses. Staying dry for 31 days won’t help them. Adopting the 12 steps might. Like what you read? Follow SCMP Lifestyle on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram . You can also sign up for our eNewsletter here .