There’s been a run on toilet paper and other “emergency” supplies over the course of the last week as we wait to learn just how serious the coronavirus epidemic will be in the U.S. Shoppers, including PJM’s Megan Fox, are reporting empty shelves at grocery stores, and now even Amazon, the nation’s largest online retailer, is running short on toilet paper.
Keep in mind that the Wuhan virus is not a gastrointestinal ailment. While a case can be made that it might be prudent to stock on things like hand sanitizer, Tylenol, and cough syrup, you’re not likely to need a 200-roll case of toilet paper in the next few weeks—unless, of course, you’re unlucky enough to be quarantined. Apparently, people are not taking chances:
— Reece Carter (@Reece_Carter) March 3, 2020
Does anyone really need 5 packs of toilet paper? pic.twitter.com/86ueK8q3mU
— Leah (@leeeeeaah) March 10, 2020
I have no toilet paper and every store is sold out… pic.twitter.com/L0KFQ8wUF5
— Jake 'Swaps4' Caprino (@Swaps4) March 2, 2020
Tech guru and Twitter sage John McAfee with some needed perspective for those of you hoarding TP:
There are false rumors flying around about toilet paper.
– you can eat it
– it keeps you warm
– it's an effective weapon
– you can build shelter from it
– it's a store of value.
Most of these rumors are unsubstantiated.
To the best of my knowledge.
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) March 10, 2020
As it happens, I was getting ready to order a case of toilet paper this morning from Amazon, where I normally buy it, because we’re down to our last two packages at Chez Bolyard. PJM’s Matt Margolis alerted me to the fact that Amazon is running low and has a lot of products on backorder. Sure enough, my regular brand, Quilted Northern, was “unavailable.”
Fortunately, I was able to score a carton from a third-party seller just in the nick of time, as it was the last one in stock. Now, if you try to buy some Quilted Northern all you can find is this:
Price gouging? Hard to say because sometimes third-party sellers post products at exorbitant prices hoping to trick someone’s grandma into paying a premium.
Other name-brands were also on backorder:
Even Presto, Amazon’s own brand of toilet paper, is out of stock.
If you search around you can find some toilet paper, mostly the nasty one-ply varieties and crummy “Scott Essential Professional 100% Recycled Fiber Bulk Toilet Paper for Business,” but beggars can’t be choosers at a time like this.
For those of you who ignored the warnings going out over the interwebs about the Great Toilet Paper Crisis of 2020, I have have some good news. You have options:
The price is pretty steep on this next one, but you might want to stock up because you never know what could happen:
Gag gift, my foot.
Finally, move over gold and Bitcoin:
if you thought Bitcoin was the future of currency i am sorry but you’re an idiot
it’s toilet paper. pic.twitter.com/r8ycEbodcY
— the warax. 🦛💨 (@iAmTheWarax) March 10, 2020
Good luck out there.