The coronavirus pandemic has stretched away too long and isn’t going away any time soon. Shoppers are afraid of the complete lockdown consequences as the previous experiences during the first wave weren’t good at all.
Therefore, panic to store daily supplies like toilet paper, hand sanitizers, essentials is obvious. The only logic behind the rush is: to save essentials that can last up to two rounds of constant isolation.
However, the surge in demand for one daily essential is keeping the stacks dry: toilet paper. The hustle is real, retail stores are out and online stores are managing the demand through multiple web warehouses.
The question that pops here is why toilet paper? To resolve this never-ending hustle of toilet paper, we have curated four expert opinions on this sudden surge and its repercussions.
Toilet paper signifies control of daily body routine. We use it to clean up and losing control over it is a huge deal. When people now think of coronavirus, they are scared to lose control over their personal hygiene and stay stranded in such conditions for days. This is basic human psychology working to deal with the catastrophe.
It is important to stock essentials, but stripping off the store rack and stranding other fellow shoppers is never ideal.”- Expert from The school of public health and social work.
Getting bulk toilet paper has also been a part of people’s grocery shopping habits. But the sudden rise is alarming, as it can eventually lead to unuseful hoarding and cause you and the ecosystem serious grievances. Therefore, waking up on time is the control people need to have now.
People want to make sure they are not stripped out of their comfort zone when they are shacked with their families. However, while toilet paper comes last in the essential list after food and water, still, people want to stick to it for superficial propaganda or to maintain a certain standard.
“Everyone wants to be prepared because that’s the only thing they can do to get a line of control.”
On the other hand, getting things below the monthly limit is also not considered smart. The less you come to the supermarket the more money you save.
The over-stocking is also due to false information spread via different media sources. Some news provokes crowds to loot stores, this type of news is hazardous for human rights. Always check twice before acting on circulated news, only believe government-certified news forums.
“This shortfall is just the indication of limited sources and unlimited consumption. Being a hoarder, in this case, won’t help, as you will pay more and use less. Be it toilet paper or other necessary items it’s better to store according to your consumption instead of Fomo.”- School of health, medical and applied sciences.
“This hype of toilet paper can be an effect of mental stress. People react to sociological stress on different levels, everyone wants an element of security and comfort”. – Expert from Disaster Risk reduction project.
Westerners are very particular about toilet paper and anything else is not subjected to use. People are not paying heed to substitutes, supermarkets are still stacked up with paper towels and tissues.
There are few factors to drive this. People are not only stockpiling toilet paper but all types of ready-to-use goods, like non-perishable food items, surgical masks, hand washes are also getting out of stock.
Consumer psychology experts state that this behavior is “obviously outrageous” and a true instance of herd mentality driven by news coverage and social media.
“The FoMo syndrome works up here the most, the fear of missing out is making people stockpile toilet paper and other essential stuff.” – Department of psychology and human behavior
They think if my friends are buying and giving so much effort, there might be a reason behind it and I must follow it too.
We are noticing toilet paper the most because toilet rolls are big and take huge shelf space. When they are getting out of stock, a huge space is seen empty that can’t be readily replaced by other items.
Another reason is that there is no market-acclaimed substitution for toilet papers. If a supermarket is out of Lays chips, it can offer various substitutes. In the case of toilet paper, paper towels can be the substitution, but they are different and thinner than toilet paper.
People have been stocking things to combat natural disasters like floods, cyclones, and hurricanes. But the coronavirus effect does not have a restricted time limit, this might be a reason for such large hoarding.
The more things are out of stock, the more people will take up the opportunity to sell the same things in a high price range. This will make survival even more expensive for commoners. In the coming days, if the consumption does not come back to normal, it can lead to untimely famine.
People are not used to shortages, they are habituated to walking to the stores and getting what they want. So, the rush to get toilet paper is the sheep mentality to maintain societal status.