You know who you are.
When you pass others on the street or in the hallways (careful to maintain that six-foot distance), you smile and say, “We’re all in this together.”
Except actions speak louder than words and your actions shout: “Every man for himself.”
As soon as the rumblings began about a serious virus closing down businesses and causing shortages, you acted. You jumped in your SUV and visited all the places that you knew would soon see long lines outside their doors. And you bought up – toilet paper. Not just a few rolls, but dozens, hundreds. You gave a sigh of relief. You were safe. Damn everyone else.
That’s why, no matter where shoppers go today, to a store or online, there is not one roll of toilet paper to be bought. Shelves are empty, a truly bizarre sight. Amazon, Target, Walmart, Costco – doesn’t matter. “Product unavailable.”
So we have to ask the question: why toilet paper? Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer – we understand. For protection against the virus, we need to wash our hands and use these disinfecting methods to stay safe. No where have I read that one of the effects of the virus is serious diarrhea, a symptom that would justify having tons of toilet paper at the ready.
From what I see on Amazon, the unfamiliar brands of toilet paper are being sold by “third party vendors.” Even though Amazon has pledged to police the site to prevent gouging by sellers, I’m skeptical. I refuse to purchase product from you – a hoarder (whore-der) – who hopes to benefit from other people’s misery.
Of course, shortages of toilet paper have spilled over to other products that can be used as substitutes – Kleenex, paper towels, napkins, even baby wipes. One result is that these items, much thicker in some cases than toilet paper, were not meant to be flushed and are now clogging up sewer systems in some parts of the country. That’s on you, too. I pray the next time you flush that you don’t find the water rising and your toilet spilling over with sewage.
Dealing with shortages has become another by product of this pandemic. And truth be told, we haven’t always had toilet paper. According to Wikipedia, modern commercial toilet paper didn’t become available until the 19th century. So we will survive.
But the bigger question is what drives people to stockpile toilet paper – or anything – during this crisis, knowing that others will have to do without. If you’re one of these selfish shoppers, perhaps that something to think about the next time you sit on your throne.