There's plenty of toilet paper - so why are people hoarding it?

Deepstash brings you key ideas from the most inspiring articles like this one:

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

There's plenty of toilet paper - so why are people hoarding it?
The other day I went into Costco to buy some toilet paper. It came as a small shock when I couldn't find a single roll. The new coronavirus is inspiring panic buying of a variety of household products such as toilet paper in cities across the U.S. and world.


Key Ideas

Save all ideas

The obsession with toilet paper

The obsession with toilet paper

While fighting the new virus, people seem to have got obsessed with toilet paper. However, hoarding toilet paper is nothing new. In 1973 and in 2013 the USA and Venezuela had already gone throug...


People's need to hoard toilet paper

Even though the US has been mass-producing toilet paper since the late 1800s, people still seem to have an issue with this very product and, therefore, buy it in huge quantities, especially during ...


Successfully dealing with shortages

While we are all facing the biggest challenge of our life, the 2020 pandemic, our behaviors are slowly starting to change. For instance, hoarding toilet paper is not something common, at least not ...



Panic Buying

Panic Buying

The world is seeing panic buying in supermarkets, with items like toilet paper, milk, soda, hand sanitizers, etc. flying off the shelves, especially in places with confirmed cases of the virus.


Downsides of Panic Buying

  • Panic buying makes people feel in charge of the situation, while seemingly mundane measures like hand-washing, which are actually impactful, seem ordinary.
  • The problem comes when people overbuy in their over-panicked state of mind (irrational stockpiling), making the shortages worse than they really are.
  • Speculators also take advantage of panic buying and raise prices of essential items like face masks, forcing companies to take appropriate measures.

Loss Aversion a principle which makes people do things so that they don't feel regretful later. 

People are panic-buying for the same reason too, with social media and news media amplifying the sense of scarcity.

one more idea

Panic buying

Panic buying

Panic-buying supplies is one way people have coped with uncertainty over epidemics. People feel like their survival is threatened, and they need to do something to feel like they're in control.


Causes of panic

Panic starts when the emotional center of the brain wants us to get out of harm's way now, with no care how we do it. However, the part of the brain that handles your behavioral responses first wants to think through the situation.

Panic sets in when the more rational part of your brain gets overrun by emotion to such an extent that adrenaline kicks in. 

Serious drawbacks of panic

When we're in immediate danger of being run over by a car, the most rational response may be flight or freeze. But serious drawbacks may make us think only of ourselves, leaving loved-ones exposed.

Panic doesn't help with long-term threats. A more rational response is needed to assess the risk and make a plan to act.

3 more ideas

Control What You Can

Due to the new virus spreading across the globe, people are yelling on TV, hoarding toilet paper, perpetuating conspiracy theories, and acting racist. All of this is not helping stop the spread of ...

Flatten The Curve

A few things we can do on our part to ‘flatten the curve’, prevent overloading of medical professionals and slow the spread of the virus:

  • Follow the advice from the World Health Organization.
  • Wash your hands, sneeze with caution and don’t touch your face.
  • Avoid shaking hands with others, or press buttons at public places.
  • Avoid large public gatherings, and cancel any non-essential travel and work meetings.
  • Don’t believe that you are the exception, and do not endanger others.
  • If you feel sick, or even if you don’t (but you believe you may have been exposed to the virus), it is best to stay at home. 
  • Practice social distancing, avoiding any social events, reducing face-to-face interactions.

Precautions During The Pandemic

  • Get into a complete Work From Home mode if it applies to you, and to other people who may report to you.
  • Cancel or postpone any upcoming events that you may be organizing, making them remote access/online only.
  • Help the elderly who may be at risk by going outside to buy essential commodities.
  • Do not visit elderly family members, to avoid any transmission to them.
  • Do not hoard essential goods, avoiding long lines at the stores, and definitely do not hoard medical resources.

one more idea