At long last toilet paper

A blog headline I never thought I’d write.

Today at noon–the first day of spring (and a glorious early spring day it was)– I went to Save On Foods and found the toilet paper aisle empty, as usual. But at the end of the aisle there was a small pallet with a partly opened cardboard box…filled with Western Family toilet paper!

I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t been working from home and able to check over lunch they would have been out again after dinner, even with the new 1-per customer limit (down from 2-per just yesterday). I consider this acquisition a minor miracle, given the awesome panic and hoarding that is gripping the general public.

I am hoping this is the last time I feel a need to blog about toilet paper.

Welcome to the 2020 pandemic. Please bring your own toilet paper.

Today the World Health Organization officially declared the spread of the coronavirus, officially designated COVID-19, as a pandemic. Essentially this means it’s spreading all over the world and there ain’t no stopping it. We have in just the space of a few months gone from the initial reports of the virus in China to containment and now mitigation, to keep the medical systems around the world from being overloaded.

Italy has been quarantined. Yes, the entire country of 60 million people.

The U.S. response is being handled about as well as you’d expect with an orange-skinned narcissist sociopath leading the country.

But perhaps the most interesting aspect of all isn’t the cancellation of large events like car shows, professional sports matches and the like (which is logical if you are trying to slow the spread of the virus), but the one thing the general public is fixating on above all else.

Toilet paper.

Yes, for reasons still unclear to me, people are panicking over toilet paper running out. I mean, sure, it’s nice to not have to find toilet paper substitute if you do run out, but what is the actual train of thought here? Do people think toilet paper factories (TPFs) will suddenly close? Do they think trees harvested for paper, including toilet paper, will be placed under quarantine and no longer cut? Do they think the manufacture of everything else–except maybe hand sanitizer–will be unaffected somehow and that only toilet paper has the unique qualities that will see it go scarce?

Of course, due to panic buying, it is now scarce. Here’s a shot I took at the local Save On Foods this afternoon (March 11). Not a single roll of toilet paper to be had:

Good thing we still have a few rolls in the condo. We’ll have to ration them for the next six months, I guess.

People are weird.