I think it will only be stabilized when those buying toilet paper have bought so much that they will not be able to find their way out of their house to buy more. Seriously the most credible answer I have seen is that people are seriously panicked about corona, and they feel helpless because there is nothing they can do to stop getting it. So, to make themselves feel like they are doing something, they go out and buy toilet paper. Totally senseless, but they do it.
Just by coincidence my 3 month prescriptions medications came due this week and I went in today to Costco to pick them up. Costco is the last place you want to go a few days before Christmas, but today it was many times worse. They had a security type guy down by where the toilet paper should be and he was shouting out, that there is no more toilet paper. Lineups to check out were brutal so I just went for my prescriptions and left my cart empty. I had planned to pick up a few groceries. Nearly every cart I saw had at least two big packages of toilet paper. My prescriptions were not ready, so I came back an hour later thinking that all the chaos would have died down now that the toilet paper was gone. Not so. Now everyone had their carts stacked up with paper towels. I guess at some point paper that is soft on the bum becomes less important! Not sure if you know how big a Costco is, but the line ups the second trip in were twice as long. There were 4 line ups that went from one end of the store to the other. It was total chaos. I abandoned my second cart (which was dutifully wiped down with disinfectant at the door by an attendant) and got the H out of there. Saw one guy that was wearing a full gas mask, not a paper M95 mask. He had his whole cart full of bleach (Javex).
My thoughts are that everyone needs a time out and a sanity check.
Well I did wash my hands when I got home because I felt unclean, not from yet another cold virus, but from being an involuntary part of the insanity that currently prevails.
Yes I've been to Costco once or twice. Might not be as big as your stores but big just the same.
All I took away from Coles this morning was a couple of rolls of, you guessed it, paper towels!
Yes it had occurred to me that those paper towels might make a rather scratchy alternative if all else fails and I felt conspicuous and awkward with them tucked under my arm but they were on my list of things we've run out of! :P
On the bigger subject I can see how the process could start with imprecise or conflicting advice from too many 'experts' and with inadequate forethought on the part of the supermarkets and suppliers, even without hoarders, but the real problem is how to stop the process once a public awareness has developed and people are literally running out of toilet paper, because at that stage everyone is compelled to buy the product the moment it becomes available.
The other issue is that once the public has been sensitised, like an allergic reaction, they will respond much more precipitously next time someone rings the alarm bells.
This kind of response can only get worse.
My first post to MyApnea, not exactly as I expected.
If you're out of TP, sacrificing a facecloth will always work. Warm water, wring it out and then apply. Rinse it out afterwards and toss into the laundry. We only visit the loo to poo about twice a day (most of us) and I'm sure we all have a couple facecloths that have seen better days anyways.
Just a suggestion.
Paper towel and wet wipes (baby wipes) aren't flushable so unless you're a plumber...
We are a bit off track with this thread but they say that humour is good for us.
We had a similar situation here in RSA.
One of our neighbours asked if we are stocking up?
No, what for. I can wash and clean down there while having a shower, BUT ............ I cannot eat toilet paper!
So rather focus on the food side of stocking up.
Just been to local Dischem, shelves are well stocked.
A lady at the shops asked "are your hands clean?" My answer - Lady I do not dig in my nose or backside with dirty fingers. She walked away not very happy.
There are a lot of crazy things going on. The media are now saying there is a shortage of prescription medications and we should not ask for more than 1 month supply. I normally get 3 months at a time. I think it is just a scam to collect a dispensing fee for two more orders in a 3 month period. And the part I really do not like is going to the pharmacy to pick them up 3 times instead of once. I also hope long hair is coming back in, as I was getting due for a hair cut and they forced all the barber shops closed. The only hair cut I am getting these days is on the stock market...
Yesterday, when I was young ........
We used to have a flock of sheep and despite the respect they enjoy in some books they are pretty stupid creatures. If we were driving them along a fence and they spotted something on that fence, like a jacket carelessly flung there in the heat of the afternoon, each sheep would baulk, then do a funny leap and run past it. The overall effect was a pile-up much as you see on every highway when a car has pulled over, way off the road, and caused a 5km traffic jam.
My point is that, as much as I hate to admit it, we are not particularly smart either individually or collectively and we baulk and react much like those sheep.
The other aspect that I notice, even amongst all the smoke and mirrors of current politics and the resulting media frenzy, is the profound power of a single word or concept.
In the past we have seen the power of words like communist or terrorist or terms like illegal immigrants and people smugglers then we discovered concepts like greenies and climate change and many others. Now we get to add words like panic buying, hoarding, pandemic and lockdown.
Ok I've lost the plot again but I think what I'm getting at is that those words are used like the jacket on the fence. They focus our attention. They provoke a reaction. All of which is essentially good right?
But they are also used to distract us so that we don't see the cause and effect, or the many other options, or what is happening elsewhere. And, of course, they work brilliantly.
The power of a word is incredible.
So our commercial world runs on just enough margin between supply and demand to ensure that most shelves are stocked most of the time. The pattern changes and demand gets a bit stronger, The supply chain is slow to respond and the public become aware of the shortfalls and the media pick up on the issue and slap some labels on it. PANIC-BUYING! HOARDING! Demand becomes even stronger and the entire manufacture, import, retail supply chain begins to fail.
That puts us all in the position that Sierra describes above where, in the middle of a pandemic, instead of going out to the shops fortnightly or perhaps once a week to grab the meds, fruit and veg, meat and groceries in one trip, we find ourselves coming home without many of the essential items we went out for, and having to go out again earlier or later or on a different day, and no longer able to select our preferred brand or size but just grab whatever is still available, effectively adding to the supply problem for everybody else and increasing the risk of infection for ourselves and the greater community.
I suspect that the best protection from a problem of this magnitude in the future, is somehow connected to encouraging independent media, global education and compulsory voting. Which is tantamount to wishing for world peace.