Toilet Paper Panic Why Is It Happening
Toilet paper Panic? So, why all the toiler paper panic? We’ve all seen it. Toilet paper is disappearing from supermarket shelves all around the globe. We’ve even seen how it’s triggered fights in some supermarket aisles in Australia. I’ve posted an excerpt of one such toilet paper fight in my video, The Funny Side Of The Corona Virus. That confrontation resulted in a court case, and the culprit cried “Not Fair” when the supermarket manager took all her toilet rolls.
Then there was the family in Toowoomba Queensland that inadvertently contributed to the crisis by ordering 48 boxes of toilet paper instead of 48 rolls, roughly 12 years’ worth. I don’t understand how they did that, considering you have to accept the payment summary. Did they not see how much it cost them? I must say though I love the name ‘Who Gives A Crap’ printed on the boxes of toilet rolls.
In Japan, Sora News said that one shopkeeper decided the only way to protect his restroom from desperate toilet paper thieves was to draw up traditional curses to protect his stash of spare loo rolls.
Because of the world news of the potentially widespread COVID-19 coronavirus infection, I can understand why people are storming the supermarkets to hoard essentials from face masks and hand sanitizers, to non-perishable food items like canned goods and long-life milk. But why toilet paper?
There are different reasons driving shoppers to bulk-buy toilet paper all dependent on their country of origin. In China, folks who had no access to surgical masks went for toilet paper because, as Australian academic, Nitika Garg said, “There’s a thinking that toilet paper can be substituted for tissues and napkins and to make makeshift masks.”
In Taiwan, toilet paper flew off the shelves because there were rumours that the island’s paper stocks were being used to make surgical masks, which would subsequently affect toilet paper supplies. Authorities later had to deny this was the case.
In the case of countries like the United States, Canada, and Australia, panic-buying and the need to hold on to as much toilet paper one can carry is most likely driven by fear of the unknown, not by any proven or actual need for more toilet paper. Clinical psychologist Steven Taylor explained to CNN, “When people are told something dangerous is coming, but all you need to do is wash your hands, the action doesn’t seem proportionate to the threat. Special danger needs special precautions.” Yep, that makes perfect sense. Washing our hands isn’t going to protect us from the Coronavirus so let’s protect ourselves by buying as much toilet paper as we can get our hands-on. 🤪
Media Causes Panic Buying Of Toilet Paper
It doesn’t help that news reports showing empty shelves urge people to believe that they’re missing out if they don’t go out and get more toilet paper right now. “There is an element of where you actually do get drawn into that, a psychology where you might fear like you may miss out. A fear of missing out.” Now, that makes perfect sense. The current ‘toilet paper panic’ epidemic exists because of all the hype in the local news. One supermarket happens to run out of toilet rolls, and all the news stations focus on those empty shelves as if it’s happening all over. Today’s news stations love to over sensationalise their coverage to generate more interest. They don’t seem to care that it may create people to panic buy.
It’s bad enough when they keep showing these shelves devoid of toilet paper day after day. Of course, it’s going to create a panic. Where has the responsible reporting gone?
In Ireland, shoppers admitted to The Irish Times that all the panic-buying was admittedly over the top, but they were doing it anyway.
Singapore’s toilet paper supplies were compromised early on in the crisis, as reported by researchers at INSEAD Singapore because an element of retail therapy drove it. Instead of spending money on the latest gadgets and fashion, folks bought useful items as shopping for those things reinforced their sense of control over the crisis. But why bulk-buy toilet rolls? It doesn’t make sense. Unless, they see, because of the world news reports, everyone else doing it causing them to catch the Toilet Paper Panic Infection or TPPI.
What The Psychologists Say
The idea that a community coronavirus outbreak could result in quarantine or a lockdown, which will impose restrictions on their freedom of movement spurs them to panic buy. Psychologist Baruch Fischhoff told CNN: “Unless people have seen…official promises that everyone will be taken care of, they are left to guess at the probability of needing the extra toilet paper, sooner rather than later. The fact that there are no official promises might increase those probabilities.”
More than anything else, there is a need to have a sense of control over a situation whose outcome no one can currently predict, and buying toilet paper could be one way of getting to grips with an unknown. Fischhoff said: “Depending on how people estimate the chances of needing the toilet paper, the hassle might be worth it. If it gave them the feeling that they had done everything that they could, it might free them to think about other things than Coronavirus.”
But for some folks who think a lockdown is imminent, the fact that they went all out to build their toilet paper stash was worth it. Frank Farley, former president of the American Psychological Association, told CNN: “[The novel coronavirus] is engendering a sort of survivalist psychology, where we must live as much as possible at home and thus must ‘stock up’ on essentials, and that certainly includes toilet paper.
After all, if we run out of [toilet paper], what do we replace it with?”
All this goes to prove is we rely too much on TV news reports. What other choice have we but to join the crowds and infect everybody with the TPPI! Surely we can’t use common sense which tells us not to believe all the hype. Because if we did that there wouldn’t be a mad panic at the supermarkets and what would the news outlets report then?
This post was repurposed with the aid of the Content Gorilla plugin from The Real Reason People Are Buying A Bunch Of Toilet Paper video. I then used Grammarly to correct the grammar and punctuation and then added my own spin to make it my own.
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