Update to “Innovation beyond COVID-19” blog post

Last week, I posted to Rock Health’s blog. In the introductory sentences of my post, I alluded lightly to some common quarantine themes. The original text included the following quip: “Yes, I have run out of toilet paper. No, I have not run out of wine.”

Strictly speaking, it’s valid to interpret my introduction to mean that I have not been drinking much. However, against a backdrop of rising levels of alcohol consumption during a time of increasing social isolation, the post could appear to encourage alcohol consumption as a way of coping with difficult circumstances.

Indeed, alcohol sales have increased dramatically during this quarantine period, a troubling trend in the midst of the larger crisis. I and everyone at Rock Health take seriously our commitment to making healthcare massively better, and we hold unequivocal convictions regarding addiction and substance abuse disorder. We’ve published research on the ongoing addiction epidemic; we have put our capital to work across multiple portfolio investments directly focused on substance use disorder and addiction; and we’ve invested in multiple companies who address behavioral and mental health needs in constructive, innovative, and affordable ways.

I’d like to add to this track record by using this moment to raise awareness of unintended negative health effects of this quarantine period. In that spirit, we have edited the original post to say: “No, I have not run out of pretzels.” (Given that we’re keeping it light, I hope there’s no confusion about our stance on consuming simple carbohydrates.)

We always welcome the thoughts of our community. Please, join the conversation!

Tom Cassels
President, Rock Health
May 7, 2020