In this world of aggressive stockpiling, the only people losing are the people without bidets
By Craig Allan, Staff Writer
There is no doubt about it, we are living in unprecedented and scary times. The world is being brought to its knees by COVID-19. In the grips of such a fearful pandemic, people are going to get a little antsy. Some may resort to locking themselves in a room for months, others may be planning out their hospital route for when that eventual cough comes, but for many, combating the dreaded coronavirus involves fighting it off with their vast supply of… toilet paper?
Yes, with fear that supply chains are going to collapse any minute, and that of what the future may bring, people have been hoarding items in preparation for the denigration of capitalist supply. It began with toilet paper, but considering the fact that the disease does not involve an abundance of a discharge from the rectum, why exactly were so many people buying toilet paper? When VICE interviewed people in Australia to ask them why, the most common answer was simply “everyone else is buying it.” Another reason may also be the size of the packaging. Toilet paper takes up a lot of space in a cart and can be easily seen.
Oddly enough, the mass toilet paper buying spreads like a virus—much like the coronavirus. One person saw someone else picking up a lot of toilet paper, and then they felt like they needed to pick some up, and then another person saw that, and it goes on until the CEO of big Charmin is laughing on his throne of toilet paper. It’s what I call the “Sweepstakes theory.” This is the idea that when people see others doing something like lining up, honking in traffic, or buying sweepstakes tickets, everyone else follows suit because they worry about missing out on the action.
But that isn’t the only item that is being hoarded. Everything from surgical and N95 masks, to hand sanitizer, and even hundreds of packs of meat have been hoarded for fear of running out. In the case of meat, the infamous couple who bought it out admitted that they bought it out of panic. As for the surgical masks, honestly, I wish they could just sell Halloween masks right now. I mean, the surgical masks don’t do much of anything, so we might as well make them fun. Seeing someone walking around in an Alfred E. Neuman mask would at least give me a chuckle (yes, I’m old).
This tragedy has brought a lot of things. Death, unemployment, and the need for distance. But it is in times like these that I believe society brings out the best in us. Whether it’s a kind message of hope, or the expression that no matter what race, sex, or background you are, we are all in this together as citizens of the world. The best cannot come out during hoarding and panic buying. We must have faith in the government when they say that the supply lines are strong, and we must not take items that we know others need.
If you run out of toilet paper and can’t find any in the store, just remember that you have a shower. It’s not the most convenient, but neither is taking 20 packs of toilet paper and depriving someone else in need of that resource. Let’s engage in sensible buying and remember that we can beat this thing if we show care for others. Everywhere from the hands to the heinie.