The spread of COVID-19, commonly referred to in the media as coronavirus, has caused panic around the world.
The disease, which can be fatal, has been quickly spreading.
Most health officials have urged people to be cautious, be diligent about hand washing and surface disinfecting and to avoid crowded areas and/or hubs of travel unless you absolutely must go to them. Places with larger spreads, like Italy, are on nationwide lockdown; asking the people to only leave home for necessities like groceries.
Most importantly, authorities are asking that people don't panic and/or hoard resources.
Which, of course, means people are freaking out, panicking and clearing shelves of all kinds of items. Pictures of grocery store shelves picked clean as if by a swarm of bleach-loving locusts are pretty common to see now.
If you or someone you know works at a retail store that sells cleaning supplies, you've probably heard the horror stories by now. No soap, no anti-microbial sprays like Lysol left, no bleach to be found, gloves and dust masks sold out and toilet paper flying off the shelves like it's a hot commodity.
Reminder: diarrhea is not one of the symptoms or effects of COVID. -19.
Maybe people figure they'll use it as opposed to tissues?
We don't know why folks are going so ham on the toilet paper, but the stories about it have become commonplace. Still, it's hard to really imagine the madness if you haven't seen it.
Thanks to CCTV footage coming out of Australia, you can. And it's mindblowing.
CCTV has revealed the insanity of the #toiletpaperapocalypse. https://t.co/3Jr587tMVW— news.com.au (@news.com.au)1583815800.0
This incident happened in an Aldi store in Melbourne, but it's just one example of the kind of panic that is sweeping the world. It wasn't even a one-time incident at this store. It has happened so often at so many stores that Aldi, Woolworth's and Cole's have all had to start limiting the number of toilet paper packs a customer can purchase.
Initially they limited purchases to four packs per customer, but people were still coming in groups to clear the shelves. The limit had to be reduced to one pack per customer per visit.
Twitter was not at all shy about sharing their thoughts.
Not that it ever is...
@newscomauHQ If someone were to be psycho enough to use situations like that, it is a PERFECT transmission point. Y… https://t.co/Cp3I4AEMpN— You Better Watch Out (@You Better Watch Out)1583843812.0
@newscomauHQ https://t.co/kL6WrdnRmu— Lee Bailey (@Lee Bailey)1583819948.0
@newscomauHQ Concerts cancelled, public events cancelled but mass 🚽 🧻 gatherings seems to be all the rage. https://t.co/OyeRS8XEMH— Deniz (@Deniz)1583819410.0
@newscomauHQ I just don’t get it. If people are that worried about the virus and needing to stock up what is the be… https://t.co/pJ9Ppr8v1o— Brigid (@Brigid)1583865910.0
@newscomauHQ I have toilet paper for sale. Extra Absorbent for the self absorbed! https://t.co/TqWNml4J27— Spokey (@Spokey)1583817046.0
Remember, for most of us just keeping to routine hand washing will be enough protection. If you don't need the resources, leave it for those who do.
All this sort of panicking does is make things worse.