Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Why are people stockpiling toilet paper?

People want to make sure they have some comfort in their lives during the pandemic

Rico’s TICO BULL – As the new coronavirus (covid-19) has spread in Costa Rica, and around the world, in the past month many people are seeking supplies and essential items to cope with the pandemic.

People want to make sure they have some comfort in their lives during the pandemic

One of those items is toilet paper! Perhaps the worst doomsday scenario is being stuck on the toilet and finding you’re down to the last square?

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At least that appears to be the prospect scaring many Costa Ricans right now.

The recommendation of the experts I hear and read is to have on hand antibacterial gel, disinfecting towels and, above all, wash your hands frequently. But many have chosen to also get, strangely, toilet paper.

Photos, videos, memes of people buying toilet paper en masse have been shared on social networks.

The FOMO – or Fear Of Missing Out – syndrome explains part of this mass behavior.

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Experts in consumer psychology say the behavior is “obviously irrational,” and a prime example of a herd mentality fueled by social media and news coverage. When images of empty shelves appear, people feel fear and need to act, even if they don’t know what to do.

I just don’t get it, the purchase of toilet paper driven by fear.

I get that people want to be prepared. When it comes to the coronavirus no one is sure how things are going to turn out, or how much worse it’s going to get.

But stockpiling on toilet paper?

Experts say that this gives a certain sense of control, a reflection of an urbanized society and lifestyle where modern comfort is what reigns supreme.

On social media, #toiletpapergate and #toiletpapercrisis were top trendings this past week.

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The only rationale I can make of this behavior, not that it matters to anyone, is that I think people want to make sure they have some comfort in their lives if they’re going to be shacked up with their family for some extended period of time.

Toilet paper doesn’t really matter in the face of this pandemic, it’s so far down the survival list compared to other things like food or water.


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"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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