March 22, 2020

President Trump told Americans that there’s nothing wrong with the supply chain and they need to “just relax" and stop hoarding supplies. I might add, “especially toilet paper.”

Judging by the runs (sorry!) on toilet paper, you’d think people believe the #1 symptom of coronavirus is explosive diarrhea. Americans are so terrified of running out of TP while hunkering down (sorry again!) that they’ve denuded store shelves of it. I’ll bet they’re thinking back on all the houses they TP’ed on Halloweens past and kicking themselves. Or recalling how they laughed at Sheryl Crowe for suggesting using only one sheet. Now, they ruefully think that if they’d only done that, imagine how many rolls they’d have left. It would also serve a double function by insuring that no other people would come within six feet of them. Your friends would do the “social distancing” for you!

I wanted to see if it was really that bad, so I put on my hazmat suit and visited a few big stores: a Kroger supermarket, an Aldi, a WalMart supercenter and neighborhood store, and two CVS pharmacies. Sure enough, not a single roll of Charmin to squeeze in any of them. Photo one here is an example: the bare toilet paper aisle at a CVS in a northern Dallas suburb.

But then I noticed something odd that suggests people may be so panicked that they’re not thinking clearly. Right next to the empty TP shelves were shelves with plenty of boxes of Kleenex for sale.

Am I the only one who realizes that Kleenex can be used for…ahem…”multi-tasking”? Speaking of that, I should also note that the magazine rack still had plenty of copies of Time and Rolling Stone.

Finally, as ironclad proof that all this toilet paper hoarding is being fueled not by need but by irrational panic buying, I offer this shot from just two aisles over: shelves of Depends, filled to bursting (the shelves, I mean.) If people really needed toilet paper and all the stores were out, you'd think this would be the obvious solution.

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Comments 1-12 of 12

  • Karen Allen

    04/18/2020 07:20 PM

    great story on the TP. First time I ordered it online

  • Renee Kendrick

    03/23/2020 03:11 AM

    Where's Mr. Whipple when you need him?

    Also puts a whole new perspective on Walmart's "rollback".

  • Dolly Klose

    03/23/2020 12:13 AM

    Somewhere I saw a suggestion that if all else fails, there's always soft taco shells (tortillas)!

  • Rhonda Stiles

    03/22/2020 11:37 PM

    A suggestion don't forget about paper towels they could be used in other ways

  • George COURTNEY

    03/22/2020 08:36 PM

    I'm a fulltime RVer, I saw in the news paper in home town figures on toilet paper. There is a tissue plant there. They reported that since the first of May the they delivered
    210,000 rolls of TP to the Clarkston, WA Costo. This is more than all of 2019. They serve an area of about 70,000 population. This shows how crazy people of become. This just breaks my heart. Keep bringing this to the public attention. We are Christians and not heathens.

  • james randolph

    03/22/2020 04:07 PM

    Imagine -
    A blizzard that would trap you inside your home ... for a month.
    YOU know it is coming in November 2020 ... and will prevent exit until January 2021.
    What will you purchase before then?
    What lifestyle changes will you make?
    You have six months ... then the elections ... prepare wisely.

  • Linda Groth

    03/22/2020 03:43 PM

    I don’t think sewers can handle Kleenex products. I know they are warning people about not putting wipes into sewers, getting clogged problems.

  • Steven J Fuller

    03/22/2020 03:40 PM

    I've had to accept the realization at 68 my wife & I are in the dreaded "high" risk group. In an attempt to avoid large crowds AND access freshly stocked shelves I violated my prime retirement pledge after 45+ years in healthcare of arising early to live a life of 9-10a.m. wakeups and did my weekly shopping errands at 7 a.m. First, does no good to go shopping before the trucks with the goods arrive,. Second at least in my Kroger in Knoxville TP zilch but same applied to "Kleenex" including the little travel packs, any size table napkins, paper towels, & paper hand towels. Plumbers are set to make a killing on all the stopped up sewer lines with "subst TP" Mat the hoarders have clear sinuses and over flowing septic tanks & sewer drains/lines

  • Charles Matthews

    03/22/2020 03:12 PM

    Good point, Governor. I noticed the same thing. If the TP shortage continues, I'll be taking out a subscription to the Washington Post.

  • Maureen Innis

    03/22/2020 02:37 PM

    Be careful in advising people that they can use kleenex if they run out of toilet paper. A lot of these products are not flushable, and can result in the need to call a plumber.

  • Kathy Todd

    03/22/2020 01:46 PM

    The toilet paper is gone because the Rapture has happened and ". . . . the Roll's been called up yonder"! (I saw that on FB and am still laughing.)

  • James J. Ferr

    03/22/2020 12:33 PM

    ''WILL WORK FOR TOILET PAPER''.....Make your sign.