Is it just me or does everyone need to understand?
Toilet Paper. Crap Wrap. Poo Tickets. Bog Roll. Bowel Towels. Whatever you call them, they are sold out and I just don’t get it.
It’s not just Australia, panic buying is happening all over the world. In New Zealand grocery sales are up 40% on this time last year. In Malaysia they are hoarding ‘pandemic pantries’ and hand sanitiser sales have risen 800%. In Singapore they are out of rice and noodles.
There has been a lot of jokes about panic poo paper purchasing in Australia but it’s not funny. Panic buying can drive up prices and more importantly take essential goods out of the hands of people who need them. Like face masks for health workers.
I have half a packet of loo roll at my house and that is plenty, it would never occur to me I need more for a potential respiratory illness.
Watching the news, I decided to google why others are buying up.
Apparently, its doomsday porn, people are motivated by fear of the unknown and they believe a dramatic event warrants a dramatic response. Telling them to go and wash their hands just won’t cut it.
During dramatic weather events we fill the bath with water, buy candles and check torch batteries. Since none of those things are relevant to Covid-19, the doomsday prep of choice became toilet paper. And once the first supermarket sold out it was self-perpetuating.
People know they are not being rational they are just don’t want to miss out.
I have heard a lot of people blaming the media for the toilet paper frenzy, but I disagree. They only media I have seen has actively discouraged any sort of panic purchasing, people just haven’t listened. Which is also interesting. It turns out, when people are running for the lifeboats, you are going to run too, whether the ship is sinking or not.
In bad news for Scomo, one psychologist I read says panic buying is at it’s worst in countries where citizens don’t trust the government to manage a crisis.
It is important to note, there is a clear difference between disaster prepping and panic buying.
If this week you bought yourself a thermometer, booked in for a flu shot, politely declined to shake hands or kiss people when you meet and googled how to wash your hands properly, you are taking sensible precautions.
Queueing for hours to buy canned goods and toilet paper you don’t need probably just fuelled your anxiety. Don’t put yourself through it.
The one good thing about this week has been the gags. I don’t mean to crack jokes butt buying bog roll will do squat. Please just take a moment to sit and think and wait for the corona poo-lice to get to the bottom of things.