A Solution to The Great Toilet Paper Crisis of 2020

While stocking up on some – totally essential – supplies at CVS yesterday, like cough drops, ear plugs, wine, and cling wrap (an odd combination to get from the pharmacy, but I try to get as much as possible in a single visit to a store visit right now), I noticed with much astonishment that the shelves where the toilet paper would be are still empty! And not just that of course: if there was any, there’d be a limit of one pack per customer. How come?

Why are people buying so much toilet paper? At first I thought well of course, they’re all shitting themselves in fear of the virus – but then they’d need more adult diapers and laundry detergent I figured. So that couldn’t be it.

Joking aside (just for a second), after the initial spike from hoarders, this is a supply chain problem now of course: staying at home, working from home, means business at home. There’s a greatly increased end consumer demand for toilet paper while the commercial demand (from restaurants, for example) has essentially vanished – and as the empty shelves prove, it’s apparently not that easy to realign these two different supply chains

At the same time, restaurants are generally struggling because they only have takeout and delivery customers right now. No one’s taking their business there anymore. Ahem.

So here’s the idea: restaurants stock up on toilet paper from their commercial supply chains – and patrons get some toilet paper as a free bonus with each delivery and takeout order. For every $10 you order, you get one roll. That way, restaurants get business, and consumers can do their business.

Genius, I know…

Smokey bear takes a leak
Smokey bear takes a leak at the Billy the Kid museum in Ruidoso, New Mexico. And he doesn’t need toilet paper.

5 thoughts on “A Solution to The Great Toilet Paper Crisis of 2020

  1. Here in the Vancouver area there still isn’t any TP (or paper towels, tissues) on the shelves that I’ve seen (since mid March). Most of western Canada’s TP is actually produced locally here, and the plant says they are producing at full capacity, but people are still hoarding it. I presume there is a higher demand for consumer paper because people aren’t using it at work, but there is still a lot of hoarding going on I think.

    The restaurant idea is a good one, but sadly none of the restaurants I used to eat at are still open even for takeout. šŸ˜¦

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    1. That is sad indeed that those restaurants aren’t open at all. We didn’t have much restaurant takeout yet but I’d welcome the idea (as expressed on Twitter) to buy additional items, especially fresh goods of course, not just TP, from restaurants when picking up food. Seems like one would have far less exposure to other people that way (compared to supermarkets).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There are restaurants still doing takeout just not the ones I would like to be. Some tried it out for a while but didn’t make any money, and the predatory takeout services aren’t helping that any (restaurant doesn’t really make anything on those takeouts).

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