The Stories of Panicked People and Toilet Paper Crisis

Toilet-paper crisis is one ridiculous aspect of the tragic coronavirus pandemic. Why am i saying that? Because, it is an artificial crisis caused by panic. It started in China firstly, to continue in all countries affected by COVID-19.

I’ve seen online videos of scared people begging and fighting for one package of toilet paper. They forgot distance rules just to buy some more toilet paper. Those videos make me laugh and cry at the same time. Those moments were the most real reflection of the fear from the unknown virus. Somehow, people ‘believed’ that toilet paper will help them get through the crisis easier.

This video was made in Melbourne, Australia, one of the countries hit by toilet-paper crisis in the last days.

I wondered for days why such high demand for toilet papers. And, my best guess was this is caused by WHO’s advise to use paper towels instead of clothed towels. And, toilet paper is the easiest one to use individually.

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The Story of Toilet-Paper Crisis in Oregon

There is a funny story in Oregon, USA regarding toilet paper crisis. People considered the run out of toilet paper such a big emergency and kept calling 911. Newport Oregon Police Department used their Facebook account to ask citizens not to call emergency number for toilet paper. Than, they continue to explain them what alternative ways they could use instead of the typical toilet paper. Here are parts of police posting:

“It’s hard to believe that we even have to post this. Do not call 9-1-1 just because you ran out of toilet paper. You will survive without our assistance.

In fact, history offers many other options for you in your time of need if you cannot find a roll of your favorite soft, ultra plush two-ply citrus scented tissue. Seamen used old rope and anchor lines soaked in salt water. Ancient Romans used a sea sponge on a stick, also soaked in salt water. We are a coastal town. We have an abundance of salt water available. Sea shells were also used.

Mayans used corn cobs. Colonial Americans also used the core of the cob… Many Americans took advantage of the numerous pages torn from free catalogs such as Sears and Roebuck. The Sears Christmas catalog, four times thicker than the normal catalog …

Then, of course, there are always alternatives to toilet paper. Grocery receipts, newspaper, cloth rags, lace, cotton balls, and that empty toilet paper roll sitting on the holder right now. Plus, there are a variety of leaves you can safely use…

Be resourceful. Be patient. There is a TP shortage. This too shall pass. Just don’t call 9-1-1. We cannot bring you toilet paper.”

Quite strange communication from the police department. Definitely happened after huge number of calls for the trendiest emergency of the moment.

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California Story

But, as people say: there is always good that comes from bad. The toilet paper crisis has pushed Blue, a special guy in California, to raise community awareness. He stood at one street corner with a homemade cardboard sign with a simple request: “Share your toilet paper”. And guess what? Many people answered positively to his call and start dropping off excessive toilet paper rolls at the street corner.

Then, the guy would pass them to other people looking for toilet paper, for free. He said he was happy to encourage community feeling among people in this time of crisis.

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Dear friends. We are leaving in unusual times facing an invisible enemy. It reminds me some Hollywood movies that talk about similar viral attacks. But, this time we cannot end the story with the sentence “It’s just a movie”. As we are the characters in coronavirus movie. And, all we can do to have a happy end, is to trust experts and to follow the rules imposed by the situation. High hygiene, social distancing and self-isolation are what we should follow for now.

I’m sure toilet-paper crisis will be gone soon, together with the coronavirus crisis. And, toilet paper crisis will be part of all movie scenarios and books, which will be written about this terrible crisis. We will laugh with those stories and producers will definitely add word “corona” to all toilet papers 😂😂.

Be strong and Stay Away from COVID-19!

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