Toilet paper will not save you from coronavirus

Last week, I commented about how I’m not giving into the coronavirus hysteria. I used the word hysteria flippantly. Little did I know people would ramp up the craziness when it comes to the global health crisis.

Last weekend, I watched videos of people fighting in stores. At first, I thought it was Black Friday footage – you know, where people roll around on the ground just to get a cheap TV. Instead, it was people duking it out over toilet paper in stores. I kid you not. Seriously.

People had carts loaded up and were actually hitting each other over the last package of toilet paper on store shelves. Pictures from area Costco stores also showed lineups of people waiting to pay for their overflowing carts of excess.

Here’s the thing: Toilet paper isn’t a necessity. Drinking water, sure. Hand sanitizer, probably. Canned goods, most definitely. Butt wiper: not really. It’s one thing to stockpile supplies – again, water, canned goods, etc. – but the two-ply? Let’s think about this for a second.

When we see hurricane preparedness stories on the news, people are urged to get items they need to survive. Again, not to make your emergency list for you, but that means things like medications, batteries, flashlights, food. Never would I think, “Oh damn, we need the Charmin.”

At the end of the day, toilet paper will not save you. Unless you’re wrapping it around your face as a mask or using it to clean up around the house, this isn’t something you need to buy in bulk for coronavirus. Secondly, if you do choose to do so, think about the ridiculousness of attacking a fellow shopper when you know damn well people are going to record it and get you on TMZ within hours.

As the cases intensify around the world – and by that I mean coronavirus and not toilet paper wars – I still am not doing anything differently. I have always washed my hands (but thanks for the reminder everywhere I go in public) and practiced good hygiene. Basically we’re being told to do everything we were taught as kids. Somewhere along the line, people have resorted to acting like animals. Well, case in point: The toilet paper videos. OK, so I take back the animal thing.

Perhaps I would have a different opinion if I were living in one of the areas where people are dying by the hundreds but until then I won’t put added stress on myself or the people around me. Thankfully, I’m feeling OK here in Manitoba. When that changes, absolutely I will strap on a mask and gloves to type out another commentary for you.

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