‘Why are people panic buying toilet paper in response to coronavirus?’

Mar 21, 2020
What's toilet paper got to do with it? Source: Getty Images

I have an inspiration for this blog. It is not about coronavirus, a pandemic for Australia, but toilet paper for our bogs! I do not know what it is like in other parts of this Great Southern Land, but here in old parochial Melbourne town, there has been mass panic purchasing of toilet paper.

Supermarket shelves are empty, any available supplies of bog rolls are severely rationed. Toilet paper factories are working flat chat 24/7, to keep up with the demand, but we are still unable to buy any. I have what is left of last week’s normal supply, plus three boxes of tissues — the stash.

Online there is a photo of a home toilet with 100 rolls of toilet paper stacked around it, to prevent coronavirus. There are scenes of wild women punching on at Woolies, over which chick grabbed the last four pack of toilet paper. Police are being summoned to intervene.

This is all an irrational, illogical fear response to a respiratory virus. What is worse, in Victoria, the greyhounds are suspected of developing canine coronavirus. No, not the dishlickers!

To complicate the whole situation, the doggy form of this disorder gives our fur friends the squirts. But greyhounds do not use toilet paper. No, not one canine has appeared at a supermarket, desperately seeking to snarl over bog rolls for their condition.

This has all been a peculiarly Australian reaction, grabbing toilet paper, and slabs of it. I was reading recently of a contrast. In Indonesia, for example, anyone can buy any amount of bog rolls, but their supplies of ginger and turmeric are in very short supply. These spices are believed to boost the human immune system, and have tripled in price. These are now being sold on the black market and online.

No, here in Australia, our great lucky country, buying 100 rolls of toilet paper for our toilet is really going to build up the household’s immunity to coronavirus. This is in addition to our normal winter flu epidemics of the latest form of Influenza Type A, or Z, or whatever we are up to this season ahead. Not that funny.

Who started this fear campaign of such a hysterical overreaction? As an old song might say again, “What has toilet paper got to do with it, do with it?” Good question. Has anyone got a clue?

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Have you purchased surplus supplies in response to coronavirus? Why do you think others are doing it?

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