Once the words "quarantine" and "isolation" came across newscasts, it seemed Americans collectively had one thing on their minds: toilet paper.
One quick search on Youtube for “Toilet paper brawls” yields videos of panicked and sometimes selfish shoppers pummelling each other for the last pack of toilet paper on the shelves.
My mother kept messaging our family group chat telling us the stores didn’t have any in stock and I found that hard to believe… until I found myself at Walmart over a weekend.
Empty shelves all the way down the aisle where mounds of toilet paper once stood.
Why toilet paper, I asked myself.
What I find extremely disheartening is the number of scams that are following the wave of COVID-19. The Denver Post reports instances of a single roll of toilet paper going for $15.
One of the brawling videos mentioned above depicted two women in Australia fighting for the last pack of that store’s toilet paper stock.
These are frightening times.
For the first time, our country is living day-by-day, unsure of what tomorrow will bring.
This being said, that does not mean we need to forget our humanity. One of the biggest enemies of these times is fear - not illness, not any other country, but our own fear. We must rely on our fellow humans to stay strong as we all wait this out.
Do not breed fear, breed hope. Keep reminding yourself that there is going to be a day when life will return to normal.
Remember that there are others going through the same thing we all are. Take only what you need and be respectful when collecting provisions and supplies.
We’re going to see the other side of this. Until then, breed hope, not fear about a possible shortage of toilet paper.