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.