I have a confession to make … I bought toilet paper. When the stories started to emerge about panic buying toilet paper I have to admit I checked how much I had. I estimated there was enough to last 3 – 5 weeks. No need to buy yet. Nonetheless when I headed into town this morning I have to admit I was thinking about buying more. Just in case.
Not surprisingly it seems most of the talk is on the Coronavirus (COVID-19). With so much fear and uncertainty it is not surprising that it is affecting people’s behavior and shopping habits. Having recently moved to the UK I had some concern about a limited stored cupboard and duly stocked up on tinned soup and frozen food.
Considering all the fears of getting ill there were still plenty of people out shopping. Still the Coronavirus was not that far from people’s thoughts. I overheard a comment about a coffee shop being empty, there was talk of there being no toilet paper in one of the supermarkets and people buying up all the flour and sugar in another. There was also a little girl who was frustrated to see a “no hand sanitiser sign” on the door of another discount store.
On my way home I stopped at one of the bigger supermarkets to decided to check if they had toilet paper. Discovering they were running low convinced me that I needed to add to the trend. There were two 9 packs of a luxury aloe vera brand remaining. I decided that that 1 pack of 4 rolls in a more regular brand would be sufficient. The only other option was 4 packs of a luxury brand.
I started to reconsider and was standing in front of the 9 packs trying to decided if I should get one when I heard a woman behind me saying something about 2 left. In the blink of an eye a small girl had snatched up both packs of toilet paper from under my nose which I thought was rather rude. While at the same time thinking I should have been quicker at grabbing one. Such is the psychology of panic buying.
When I reached the till I saw the cashier eyeing up my toilet paper and felt the need to point out that I had only bought 1 pack. Then I realised she was more concerned about the person behind me. I think it was the lady who had snatched the bigger packs from under my nose. She was hoping to buy around 7 packs of toilet paper in spite of a 2 pack limit. I think she was feeling stressed with telling people they couldn’t buy too much stuff.
So I must confess that even though I know it is probably a bit irrational, I bought toilet paper. No doubt the shops will be well stocked by the time I need more. Even though I only bough 4 rolls I feel much better about my supply of toilet paper. But perhaps I should have bought paracetemol…