Sheltering and…Hoarding?

Toilet Paper tycoons? Hand Sanitizer moguls? Yeast Millionaires? Suddenly everyday items and even obscure products are eagerly sought after.

Loss of control can trigger illogical behaviour. We face an uncertain future but we can buy toilet paper. Who wants to run out of such an essential product and even though covid 19 seldom causes diarrhea, toilet paper flew from the shelves. The supply chain for tp is “just in time” which means retailers don’t stock a whole bunch of it. New supplies arrive just in time. It makes sense not to waste storage space on such bulky commodity. The supply chain is a good one so there is no reason to hoard toilet paper.

Hand sanitizer makes sense only if you have to be outside of the home where soap and water aren’t available. Health care workers need it because of its convenience but if you’re working from home or sheltering at home, ordinary soap and water and 20 seconds of hand washing are the best bet. The hoarding triggered some distilleries to switch production of spirits to using the ethyl alcohol to make hand sanitizer.

Yeast is in short supply. People who have never baked bread are stocking up on yeast and flour. Google YouTube videos and you can make bread. Millennials are into sourdough. I question how much of the yeast and flour will be used. I am not judging others; I am assuming that there are those like myself out there who are bigger on the concept of something than they are on actually doing it. A friend dug out her bread maker because she wanted to fill the house with the scent of bread baking. The appliance was so excited to be in use again, it skittered across the counter.

Even though hoarding is a response to regain control, we have to resist. I admit to buying an extra package of tp, resisted getting any hand sanitizer, and had yeast in the cupboard . I have made bread and I wash my hands with soap and water a lot more. We are trying not to hoard but it’s tempting in these frightening times to try and prepare for eventualities. The pandemic will end.

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