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Why In The World Are People Freaking Out Over Toilet Tissue? — The Grow Network Community
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Why In The World Are People Freaking Out Over Toilet Tissue?

greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 592 ✭✭✭✭

Yes, there is a virus going around. It happens to be an UPPER RESPIRATORY virus.

And yes, we get reminded of that every single minute of every day if you happen to have a TV or radio on. Even in a conversation with another individual, that is pretty much all anyone talks about.

So my question, even from the start of it, has been why are people hoarding toilet tissue?

Do you really think with an upper respiratory condition you are going to be spending extra time in the bathroom?

I heard one reason (to make face masks if the masks all get sold out but I won't go into why that will never work here) but it was the closest reasonable reason I have heard of so far.

So can anyone enlighten me on what is going on?



  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,408 ✭✭✭✭

    It occurs to me that if people eat out all the time or eat processed foods at home, maybe water bottles, tissues and toilet paper really are the staples that they are used to worrying about.

    I think it will be a little harder to stockpile their entertainment choices. Has anyone heard of a run on phone apps lately?

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 2,996 admin

    Come to think oof it, my great grandfather would say, "lack of sense." My grandfather would say, "foolishment and folderol."

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,408 ✭✭✭✭

    Maybe they will blockade their houses with the rolls of paper.

  • blevinandwombablevinandwomba Central PaPosts: 633 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey maybe we could feed the toilet paper to insects, and then eat the insects

    Here's one reference I found. Let's turn some TP into protein!

  • Marjory WildcraftMarjory Wildcraft ✭✭✭ Posts: 986 admin

    You know what? I was laughing at all the people stocking up on toilet paper - until I ran out yesterday. LOL. But I walked into the grocery store and right there in front was this huge stack of rolls.

    And @greyfurball I was really amused when the first empty shelves were toilet papaer and bottled water. Seriously? It just made me wonder what peoples prioriteis are.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,401 admin

    Maybe up here they are doing so to get ready for spring flooding?

  • MelindaMelinda Greater Atlanta AreaPosts: 124 ✭✭✭

    Stores here are finally putting a limit on how many people can buy of tp and water. It’s so odd that people are stockpiling tp. Water, I understand on a certain level - if it gets bad will the water supply be compromised. I finally found some tp at our local Asian market, it’s a Chinese brand and I have found I prefer it over my usual brand lol

  • EarlKellyEarlKelly Penn state master gardener Northeastern Pennsylvania zone 5bPosts: 230 ✭✭✭

    My daughter who lives in Fredericksburg VA with 4 kids at home ,can’t find any at all. She is almost out. Trying to find some on line to send to her. Most of the vendors are saying mid April to may before it gets there. Just crazy right now. Will keep searching for her. Just insane nonsense.

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,408 ✭✭✭✭

    @EarlKelly My aunt is using tissues for urine, with used tissues going into trash. She figures that will extend her dwindling tp supply. Any paper product will do, but need care not to plug sewer system. Rags can be used and laundered like the old cloth diapers.

  • Melissa SwartzMelissa Swartz Posts: 240 ✭✭✭

    Dr. Darcie is a behavioral economist (who knew there was such a thing?) In this article she explains the logic behind hoarding toilet paper.


  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 592 ✭✭✭✭

    @Melissa Swartz yes I figured the answer was going to come down to some kind of "following the pack routine" because I could think of no logical explanation for the human psyche all of a sudden needing these extra packs of seemingly useless TP to conserve some kind of protective barrier from this virus.

    To me though, it is unfortunate that people can and will allow themselves to get so caught up in the frenzy that they have to use a meaningless staple such as TP to afford themselves some type of comfort.

    How can plain old common sense be so completely thrown out the window in favor of mass hysteria?

  • EarlKellyEarlKelly Penn state master gardener Northeastern Pennsylvania zone 5bPosts: 230 ✭✭✭

    @Melissa Swartz thanks for the video link. Found it highly informative. Also @Sharon Companion I gave your tips to my daughter. She is having a hard time finding tissues also. She can’t find meat, yeast, and her one weakness creamer for her coffee. She is baffled by these random items that are out of stock lately.

  • Ruth Ann ReyesRuth Ann Reyes Managing Director TGN Shy of the Chi - Zone 5bPosts: 348 admin

    I still can't get toilet paper...and we're weeks in the Midwest ...

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,401 admin

    @EarlKelly Maybe your daughter has done these things already, but just in case she hasn't, I thought it is worth posting. Has your daughter tried to find a CSA online that offers meats? Can she place an online wanted ad? Does she have any access to "someone has a farmer friend/relative who has beef and/or chickens" people?

    What I am seeing in my area is that there are more calf wanted ads than calves for sale. I just hope the people who aren't buying replacement calves realize that it will take 2 years before they get much meat. 🙄 It isn't instant huge growth as some "avoid dairy" people like to claim.

    We will be seeing if we can get white sugar & yeast today from our little local store when we go to get more water from the spring. We aren't quite out of those yet, but it is time to start looking before we are out. I missed putting those on my list. Going there is at least better than braving the city.

  • dipat2005dipat2005 Posts: 298 ✭✭✭

    Loved everyone's comments about toilet paper. If someone says they are prepared for whatever disaster that comes along and they go buy a lot of toilet paper, everyone then wonders why they have to go to the store. There are stores here who will not take any returns of toilet paper and the other items people deem so important. It seems reasonable that soap and water works for washing hands. Hand sanitizer is really a luxury item. Even the rental management sent a letter reminding people that only toilet paper should be put into the toilet or someone else would have to pay the plumber. What a crazy world we live in!

  • EarlKellyEarlKelly Penn state master gardener Northeastern Pennsylvania zone 5bPosts: 230 ✭✭✭

    @Laurieloveslearning just told my daughter what to look for the other day. She was going to go online and see what she could find. Told her to look up Joel Salatin. Give her a guide by seeing what he has to say. She also was going to Facebook and her circle of friends to see what was available locally. Thanks for everyone’s input. Very helpful. Everyone keep safe.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,401 admin

    @EarlKelly I hope she finds what she needs.

  • AlisonAlison Posts: 155 ✭✭✭

    It's my guess because you generally can't produce it yourself.

    You can grow lettuce, apples and oranges in a tub in you have to, onions, carrots, tomatoes etc in a small raised bed, but loo paper is a whole other ball game. And if you have children you can go through plenty. Being without for a few weeks or more would be rather horrid.

    Yes I have plenty. Marjory has done interviews with people over the years that discuss what it looked like in various countries that had all sorts of financial troubles etc and things like soap and toilet paper were hard to come by or not available.

    You can get a 20kg bag of rice and some other bits and be fine for a good while. Stores here are also almost always out of meat also. Marjory has plenty of things within her annual videos about raising your own protein, but like loo paper, most don't do anything like that so it's a hot commodity as well.

    It's my understanding TGN is at least in part here to help people grow part of their own food in recognition that it's healthier, and because it the systems we have in place now just don't provide a good framework for stability of supply.

    Take Care

  • nksunshine27nksunshine27 IdahoPosts: 320 ✭✭✭

    @EarlKelly does mullein grow there in VA? if so that stuff is softer than toilet paper. or check with one of your local churches they sometimes have toilet paper.

    i was very perplexed about the toilet paper issue also, here it was the hand sanitizer and the face mask/ dust masks that went first and then the run on toilet paper, i did read a small brief article some where that a dr. in china said this virus gives you the runs so maybe that is why the run on toilet paper. or maybe when they run out of hand sanitizer they can wrap their hands in it lol.

    all of this stems from panic buying like when a heard of animals get spooked they look at one for which direction they should go then they follow that one kinda like the gieco commercial where that blond asks why dont we get in the running car and the rest say no lets go hid by the chainsaws. with out direction people panic buy. its a psychological thing i guess. lemmings it what the current situation reminds me of. and people with out clear direction sometimes watch what other people do and then panic buy. sorry i think i repeated my self its been a long day ya'll take care

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,336 admin

    I really sympathise with anyone who is currently out of TP due to any overbuying or hoarding. But if it is any consolation, I live in one of the largest pulp and paper producing areas in all of North America and our stores are also out. I did manage to get an 8 pack of paper towels today which I was getting low on. And I got everything else on my list. Our wholesale store has big (50lb) boxes of spuds, fruit and flats of tomatoes, mushrooms, etc. Flour in bags of 2 - 50 lbs. Not sure why we seem to be doing a bit better than other reports that I am hearing.

    Mullein makes lovely toilet paper and a good project for kids out of school. I have used thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus) leaves and broad leaf maple in a pinch.

  • EarlKellyEarlKelly Penn state master gardener Northeastern Pennsylvania zone 5bPosts: 230 ✭✭✭

    @nksunshine27 thanks. Completely forgot about mullein. I will let her know, I’m not sure if it is in her area or not. Great idea though. Finally found some that is being shipped to her. Not sure when it will get to her. This way if she runs out another option.@torey , I just retired from one of P&G’s largest paper mills where we produce bounty and charming. Stores have been out for weeks. Just baffled by this behavior. Would think by now everyone would have a ten year supply. Talked with my old coworkers and they can’t make it fast enough. All the lines that produce it are at max speed. Guess we will see how this all plays out. Stay safe and thanks for all the input.

  • tammyrichardsmt9tammyrichardsmt9 Posts: 108 ✭✭✭

    TP was the least of my worries! I knew I had plenty of old tshirts and such and we would be fine. I had a friend say that if people weren't buying food, they weren't going to need tp!

  • probinson50probinson50 Posts: 49 ✭✭✭

    Being one of those that buys toilet paper only as needed and now is running low, it makes me consider how to reduce my dependency on toilet paper consumerism in general - how many trees are used to produce TP? What are the alternatives, not just in an emergency. I do see TP made from recycled paper, but certainly not mainstream. Bidets may have a place in the American household after all. And it is perplexing that stores will limit purchases of certain products on sale especially during holidays, but don't seem to care about limiting items needed during emergencies.

  • EarlKellyEarlKelly Penn state master gardener Northeastern Pennsylvania zone 5bPosts: 230 ✭✭✭

    @nksunshine27 just wanted to let you know my granddaughters reaction when I told my daughter to see if mullein grew locally. When she informed them what I had said, now they are aged 5 and 7. My daughter said they scrunched up their face and both said a loud “ewww”. Just made my day as I could picture their faces as they did it. Laughed for ten minutes. Out of the mouths of babes. Thanks and stay safe everyone.😂😂

  • nksunshine27nksunshine27 IdahoPosts: 320 ✭✭✭

    now might be the time we should grow hemp for paper products again. also you can use a wet facecloth and wash them.

This discussion has been closed.