A representative from CNN must read my blog. I’m pretty sure, in fact, that Nana’s Whimsies is required reading for all of the lead CNN reporters, who are undoubtedly part of the 80 or so faithful readers that my stats show read the blog daily. How do I know this? Because today CNN had a story headlined Why Toilet Paper Has Become the Latest Coronavirus Panic Buy. They undoubtedly read Monday’s blog posting and decided to do some of their own research.
I have always been fascinated by panic purchasing. I vividly remember back in the 1980s when Cabbage Patch dolls were The Item That Little Sally Sue Must Receive For Christmas. Women and men stood in line to purchase the limited numbers of dolls. My own mother — who was not the hysterical buying type — stood in line to buy a Cabbage Patch doll or two for her grandkids. She might even have wrestled a woman to the ground and pried a doll from her hands. Not typical behavior for a 110-lb. nana. But, grandkids, after all.
Panic buying isn’t rational. If you don’t believe me, check grocery store shelves a day or so before a blizzard is forecasted. There is nary a carton of eggs to be found on the shelf. I’m guessing the average family doesn’t go through a dozen eggs in a week, yet somehow they think nothing short of three dozen eggs will be enough to get them through the next couple of days. A soufflé or two to get you through the next few days of falling snowflakes?
A couple of years ago, my sister Jen was shopping for groceries before a forecasted blizzard. Inexplicably, her panic purchase consisted of six cans of whole tomatoes. I rarely use canned tomatoes, she admitted to me later. But just in case she needed to make a pot of spaghetti sauce.
According to CNN, the conflicting messages about the dangers of coronavirus and a perceived lack of direction from our public officials are creating panic. Buying toilet paper is something the average person can control. I have no idea how to stop the coronavirus or even if I should worry about it, but I do know that Charmen Toilet Paper provides softeness where you want it. And once you see a nearly empty shelf of toilet paper, you begin asking yourself, do I need to protect my right for softness where I want it? And so you buy the few remaining packages, and the next thing you know, the shelves on every grocery store are empty. Panic begets panic, according to CNN.
I’m here to tell you people. Now that toilet tissue is unavailable, start buying 1) Wall Street Journal; and 2) corn on the cob. They are great backups.
No explanation necessary.