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As the  incidence of Corona Virus escalates globally and the World Health Organization raises its concern level ever higher, caution and preventative activities are top of mind around the world as we collectively try to prevent this becoming a full blown pandemic. Governments are setting in motion travel bans, people are being quarantined, the Queen is giving out awards wearing gloves, mass gathering are being banned and Japan is on the verve of cancelling the Olympics. Meanwhile in Australia, toilet paper panic is hitting hard.

Supermarket shelves are being stripped bare as the country is going mad stockpiling toilet paper. Because that’s what matters.

Seriously, you have to love a place where #toiletpapercrisis and #toiletpapergate have been trending on Twitter for most of the day and people are making the most of the opportunity to turn it in their favour, and perhaps up their follower numbers.

For those not on Twitter or not in Australia, here’s a quick summary of what’s been happening. Pretty much, there’s a little bit of panic about supplies should we all need to quarantine ourselves, the shelves are emptying and people are reporting on it. It’s causing quite a lot of confusion in the supermarkets with people trying to work out where all the loo paper has gone and why this is the most prized item on the ‘must not run out of’ list.

All of this, of course, is causing more panic buying. Nothing like a bit of group mentality to escalate things. Now the supermarkets are putting a limit on the number of rolls you can buy in one transaction.

I have to say, it’s kept me amused all day as the toilet paper memes just keep coming. At least it keeps your mind off other crises we have at hand at the moment, you know, like the actual corona virus, the climate crisis, world poverty, the parlous state of the Australian Government right about now, and so on.

The whole situation is bringing out a few different personality types. Firstly, there are the comedians

those with criminal backgrounds

the happy (and sometimes new) Costco members


The opportunists


and the social media-savvy ones

and even the economists

I wonder if Alan Kohler will do a graph on this issue on the news tonight. He likes graphs.

Then there are the lateral thinkers


And finally the ones who have their priorities right.

I’m wasting hours following the hashtag. I must move on.

To be perfectly honest, I must admit I have my own personal stash. 36 rolls of high quality toilet paper to be precise (I know because I counted). In my own defence, I wasn’t adding to the panic buying. We usually have that many stacked away because it’s one of my life goals never to run out of loo paper and a world pandemic is not going to be my undoing. Surely it’s one of life’s essentials?

I blame my mother. She has a similar fear of running out of toilet paper and has been a sly stasher for many years. Now she happily resides in a nursing home where the staff are aware of her proclivities and have monitored her for some months sneaking into the store room and the toilet in the reception area to swipe a few extra for herself. She probably doesn’t even know about Corona virus which is probably a good thing. Imagine when she finds out about the run on supplies. After a series of discussions with management, she’s now allowed to have 30 rolls of toilet paper in her own bathroom: no less (that stresses her), but no more because – sharing. I’m thinking though she might be able to make a bit of a tidy profit if the current panic buying continues – but she’d have to master Ebay first. Maybe I could list them for her and take a commission??

Anyway peeps, let’s all relax. The supplies will return to the shelves shortly. There surely has to be other things to worry about. Like, the actual virus, which is actually pretty awful.

What about you? Are you all stashed up?