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'Everybody takes, and I take': why do people buy toilet paper en masse

On the Internet about toilet paper - most of all jokes and memes. It is presented in the form of a kind of treasure, which is very difficult to obtain, jewelry that can be given as a gift, a valuable trophy. This is written by Ksenia Turkova in her blog on "Voice of America".

Photo: Shutterstock

Next - from the first person.

Someone would tell me a year ago that my photo with the toilet paper packaging on Facebook would gain about 600 likes, I would never have believed it.

What is so special about toilet paper?

Especially this question excites those who come from the Soviet Union. They (that is, to us) understand everything: in the USSR toilet paper appeared only in the 70s, it was a terrible shortage, huge lines were defended behind it, and then proudly stringed around the neck like a bunch of bagels, and went home envy passersby.

But why does toilet paper cause the same passion among residents of the United States, Germany and Australia? In one of the Australian supermarkets, three visitors even got into a fight over the packaging of toilet paper.

And on March 14, Oregon Police even I had to turn to people asking Do not call emergency numbers to complain that they have run out of toilet paper.

The reasons why people buy toilet paper can be divided into rational and irrational.

Rational:

  • they say that the best disposable masks and disinfectant wipes come out of toilet paper;
  • toilet paper does not deteriorate, it is not heavy, it is easy to grab it from a shelf and throw it in a cart — it will not be superfluous;
  • toilet paper consumption, for obvious reasons, increases dramatically if you are sitting at home in quarantine, which is why you need to stock up.

And here are the irrational reasons:

  • gossip. One of them - because of the growth in the production of disposable masks, they will reduce the production of toilet paper. However, there is no confirmation of this information;
  • they take everything, and I take it - what if it really doesn’t happen later.

Anthropologist, researcher of urban myths Alexandra Arkhipova believes that mass purchases of toilet paper are nothing more than the consequences of an epidemic, that is, an information epidemic, when social networks and media spread information about the virus faster than it spreads.

On the subject: Scientists called unexpected symptoms of the latent form of coronavirus

“This is just ordinary media cognitive distortion. In a panic, if necessary, stay at home, in quarantine, do not go anywhere, people begin to stock up on everything they need, everything they need. And they buy, of course, not only paper, but also sugar, hand sanitizers, toothpaste, pasta, which are now disappearing all over Italy, ”she says.

Add fuel to the fire photos in social networks with empty shelves from under the toilet paper.

“Imagine that you photographed an empty toothpaste shelf or empty meat boxes - this is not at all as fun as photographing a shelf where there should be toilet paper and write a post about it. And then, just the usual media effect arises, and it seems that people only buy toilet paper, ”she explains.

In general, do not succumb to infodemia. However, jokes, including about toilet paper, are very helpful in protecting yourself from panic.

Miscellaneous Educational program coronavirus Special Projects toilet paper Positive

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Scientists called unexpected symptoms of the latent form of coronavirus

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Coronavirus and psychosomatics: why stress and panic make us vulnerable to infections

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