I haven't seen anything like this since the 1979 oil crisis or the 1983 Cabbage Patch Doll riots. As of 9 a.m. this morning, Grand Junction's North Avenue Walmart found itself without a single roll of toilet paper. What is it about the Coronavirus that motivates people to run out and buy TP?

Okay, first question: Is there any indication the Coronavirus causes a person to need a greater supply of toilet paper? According to cdc.gov, indications of Coronavirus include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Nowhere on that list do I see the words "explosive diarrhea." The website familydoctor.org offers the exact same information. Why this sudden rush for the toiletry aisle?

If you look at the picture at the top, you'll notice on the opposite side of the aisle tissue paper is stocked in abundance. Why the demand for toilet paper, but not Kleenex?

The website sky.com asked the question, "Why are people panic buying and why toilet paper?" They asked three experts about the psychology of panic buying. One expert, Dr. Dimitrios Tsivrikos, an expert in consumer and behavioral science at the University College London, offered the following explanation:

But in public health issues we have no idea about the time or intensity and we get messages on a daily basis that we should go into panic mode that we buy into more than we need to. It's our only tool of control." - Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos

Dr. Tsivrikos also states because toilet paper has a longer shelf-life than many food items, and is prominently featured in aisles and is big in size, we are psychologically drawn to purchasing it in times of crisis. He added, "The bigger they are, the more important we think they are."

Okay, I'll buy that. I'm glad my parents aren't alive to see this Coronavirus panic. They were hoarders to begin with. This could have been calamitous for the Jordan family. My mind is filled with images of my dad rolling his wheelchair through an endless Labyrinth of Angel Soft Bathroom Tissue. My mom and dad would have dashed to the Honda and made a beeline to Sam's Club to score 50 lifetime supply packages of Charmin.

Okay, we all know I'm not a doctor, and I have no idea what the story is behind Coronavirus. I certainly mean no disrespect to those dealing with it. However, at the same time, this recent shortage of paper products seems a bit silly.

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