The Psychological Reason People Are Hoarding Toilet Paper in the Face of a Worldwide Pandemic

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Some of us might be confused as to why the shelves are empty a random household staple like toilet paper. The coronavirus, or COVID-19, doesn’t typically cause any kind of intestinal distress, and I’m guessing the majority of households were already buying toilet paper in bulk.

So why, then, are so many people hoarding toilet paper when it makes little-to-no sense to do so?

It turns out there’s a psychological reason, and ya’ll. It’s pretty interesting.

According to clinical psychologist Steven Taylor, the rush for toilet paper could be based on a panic response to global fears over how this virus is going to impact populations long term. So much is still unknown, people are grabbing the one thing they know they’re going to need eventually – toilet paper.

And within reason, it makes sense. If we’re all going to be expected to stay home for at least a few weeks, we want to be able to be sure that essentials are on hand.

That said, a year’s worth of toilet paper looks a lot different than 1 couple of months worth, people.

Taylor also mentioned the snowball effect that panic-buying can have – if one shopper sees another with a full cart and then glimpses decimated shelves, well, they think they need to stock up too, and so on.

But look… there are people who now have enough toilet paper to last until Christmas, and other people who can’t find a four pack and are going to be foraging for leaves that can do the job.

Does that seem fair?

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Don't be a hoarder. We're all in this together! And no, this is not my photo. #coronavirus #hoardingtoiletpaper #usnotmeoryou

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Remember that your friends and neighbors are going through this crisis and time of uncertainty, too, and only take what you think you’ll actually need to get through a short-term quarantine, should your family come down with COVID-19.

Be prepared, but don’t be selfish.

It’s a good motto to have in the best of times, so it definitely goes double for the sh*tshow out there today.