The Psychology Behind Why Toilet Paper, of All Things, is the Latest Coronavirus Panic Buy

by Liz Jones | March 10, 2008 8:41 am

By Scottie Andrew, CNN

Masks were the first to go. Then, hand sanitizers.

Now, novel coronavirus panic buyers are snatching up…toilet paper?

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.
An Australian newspaper went so far as printing eight extra pages in a recent edition — emergency toilet paper, the newspaper said, should Aussies run out.

Why? Toilet paper does not offer special protection against the virus. 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…more[1]


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