Now, coronavirus panic buyers are snatching up ... toilet paper? I recently encouraged a loved one to get toilet paper after I noticed there were shortages in Miami, not knowing if the latest panic-buy craze would reach Ohio. Can you guess what I am about to say next? All together now; of course it did! To her surprise there was no toilet paper to be found at her local stores.
Retailers in the US and Canada have started limiting the number of toilet paper packs customers can buy in one trip. Some supermarkets in the UK are sold out. Grocery stores in Australia have hired security guards to patrol customers as they shop to keep them from over-buying the precious TP.
An Australian newspaper even went so far as printing eight extra pages in a recent edition -- "emergency toilet paper", the newspaper said, should readers find themselves in a jam.
Why? Does TP offer special protection against the virus? No, or course not. It's not considered a staple of impending emergencies, like milk and bread are.
So why are people buying up rolls more quickly than they can be restocked? Well, there are a couple reasons. continue reading to understand why and be prepared to discover an interesting correlation between the new purchasing trend and the coronavirus.
The coronavirus scares people because it's new, and there's a lot about it that's still unknown. When people come across conflicting messages about the risk it poses and how seriously they should prepare for it, they tend to resort to the extreme.
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 to most people. Many people feel that, special danger needs special precautions.
Panic buying begets panic buying
Images of empty shelves and shopping carts piled high with supplies have inundated news reports and social feeds. People see images of panic buyers, assume there's a reason to panic and buy up supplies, it is a very common cycle of behavior. It can be really annoying, inconsiderate, and at times obnoxious to many people.
People, being social creatures, we look to each other for cues for what is safe and what is dangerous. And when you see someone in the store, panic buying, that can cause a fear contagion effect.
All those photos of empty shelves may lead people to believe that they must rush out and grab toilet paper while they still can. And what started as perceived scarcity becomes actual scarcity.
Social media is a huge player in coronavirus fear-mongering. Misinformation spreads with ease, and open platforms amplify voices of panic. We here at sistrum suggest you remain as calm as possible.
I understand and agree that It's natural to want to over prepare
There may be some practicality in stocking up. With the CDC and other international health agencies now advising that certain populations should stay home and avoid contact with other people or crowds, it's natural to want to prepare. This is especially true of you are a single person living alone.
The virus as a whole is engaging a bit of a 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 TP, what do we replace it with?" Right? Well that is partially true from what I've been exposed too, even places with enforced quarantining people are still able to go out to purchase essentials, including toilet paper.
It allows some to feel a sense of control
The people who are stocking up on supplies are thinking about themselves and their family and what they need to do to prepare. Then there are those people that are selling the rolls at a 330% markup -- my point is both groups are not considering healthcare workers, sick people or even regular people that might run out of toilet paper sometime soon.
It's all due to this wave of anticipatory anxiety. People become anxious ahead of the actual infection. They haven't thought about the bigger picture, like what are the consequences of stockpiling toilet paper. At the moment I am most annoyed by the increased prices on all of the products are are being "panic purchased" Supply and demand people; please keep this in mind people.
But people mostly are understandably responding that way out of fear. Preparing, even by purchasing toilet paper, returns a sense of control to what seems like a helpless situation.
Depending on how people estimate the chances of needing the toilet paper, the hassle might be worth it for them. 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 understandably, but, try to think of others needs during these times.
Now with all that being said there is a logical link between the virus, fear and the mad-dash buying of toilet paper.
Put short, YOU POOP MORE WHEN YOU ARE STRESSED.
Okay maybe not all of us, but for many people this rings true. The worst part is for many of those affected by stress poop, the poop comes in the form of diarrhea. Although there are a wide variety of health conditions that have diarrhea as a symptom, sometimes the cause of diarrhea can be attributed simply to stress or anxiety.
The Link You May Have Not Known About
The reason that you can experience diarrhea when you are stressed is directly related to your body's programmed stress response, what is commonly referred to as our "fight-or-flight" reaction. This reaction did a great job in helping us to survive as a species, particularly back when we were faced with things like hungry lions. But this same reaction has become more troublesome in light of the challenges you are faced with, and the fast pace of, modern life.
When you come across something that you perceive as threatening, your body reacts with a variety of physical changes: heart rate and respiration increase, your muscles tense up, blood is directed toward your extremities, and most relevant to the current discussion, your colon contractions speed up. In some cases, this increase in colon activity can result in the symptom of diarrhea.
People need more toilet paper for more poop. So what now?
Do us all a favor and DE-STRESS yourself as soon as possible. Your community and your bowels will thank you! By eliminating the stress and anxiety you will eliminate the need to poop more than usual and thus eliminating the need for 300 rolls of toilet paper. Book a service with us to help ease the stress. A session with Karen may be exactly what you need to bring your anxiety down. We are here for you!