My thoughts are with… all of us! Let’s wash our hands, stay healthy, and stay safe!

When pictures of empty shelves started popping up everywhere, I couldn’t believe it. Surely, these images weren’t real, I thought.

Then I went to the store.

Oh my goodness. The panic buying is real! The sight of empty shelves is unreal!

Here are a few pictures I took of my local grocery store (Safeway) the other day:

pasta aisle at Safeway | March 13, 2020
Safeway | March 13, 2020
toilet paper aisle at Safeway | March 13, 2020

The good news: the shelves don’t actually stay bare for long. They’re restocked every day. It’s just that the products fly off shelves faster than they can be replenished.

So I join many others who say, “Don’t panic, people! And please don’t panic buy!” It’s the panic buying that will cause the shortage.

Consumer behavior experts say people hoard because it makes us feel we have control over the uncontrollable. Also we fear that scarcity will lead to higher prices.

But why are people hoarding toilet paper?

I’m not an expert, but I will venture to guess that people hoard toilet paper not only for its intended function. Toilet paper provides comfort. Toilet paper represents cleanliness.

We want to satisfy our need to fight and figuratively “wipe out” this deadly virus that is disrupting lives all around the world. We want to restore comfort. We want to return to clean.

So I’m not judging. Instead, I choose to be compassionate. I understand one’s need to hoard toilet paper.

But, buddy, can you save me a roll?

If you enjoyed this post, you may be interested in my post Les mouchoirs en papier

Stay healthy and stay safe!