The first was a toilet paper shortage. We laughed, we joked, but the toilet tissue aisles at the stores were empty.
I checked the Dollar Store. I checked the Office Supply store. I looked at the pharmacy. Fortunately, we weren’t out of TP. We had some left; I was just planning ahead. But why toilet paper? Why did people hoard toilet paper?
The most popular theory is that buying the Charmin gives people a sense of control in the era of uncertainty.
Two weeks ago, we found a huge void on the shelves of (are you ready for this?) sliced cheese. Not just any sliced cheese, but the kind we call IWS – Individually Wrapped Slices. Despite the additional packaging, even the Compostermom likes to keep the IWS cheese around for making grilled cheese sandwiches.
Last weekend the cheese shelves were still nearly empty. We picked up a small package of an organic off brand (yes, there is such a thing as organic and off brand) because Petunia needed some, and that was the only choice. Cheese? Come on, people, this is Wisconsin! There will always be cheese. No need to hoard.
Well, they hoarded toilet tissue right here in the Paper Valley itself, so I shouldn’t be surprised.
The next shortage in our stores was near the dairy aisle, but not from the dairy farms. Orange Juice. OJ. In fact, anything OJ related, like Sunny Delight, was gone or nearly so. What the heck? Did Florida lose a crop? What on earth happened here? So I googled it.
The information I found sort of followed with the TP stretch. According to business sources, people were chugging orange juice and other citrus juices to beef up their immune systems, in the hope that said immune systems would be able to fight off the evil Corona Virus.
Well, I admit, I do increase our vitamin C intake as flu season comes in. But never, ever, have I emptied the store shelves of orange juices.
Maybe I should. Hey, Chuck, did you check the frozen concentrate section?
Readers, what have you hoarded in this Time of Crisis?
It’s also a question of the supply chain. TP was hoarded, of course. But we are also using more at home because we aren’t going anywhere. Normally the manufacturers sell large quantities to schools, businesses, etc. They had to repurpose the factories to go from industrial to consumer versions.