Stop Buying Toilet Paper!

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on March 16, 2020

Toilet paper will not stop the coronavirus. 

Unless you are planning on hiding in your home for months on end, you do not need six 24 packs of toilet paper to make it all the way through. Coronavirus can be avoided through simple hand washing and social distancing, there is no need to completely bunker up at home.

If we assume the average household has to replace a role every two days, and if you are buying six 24 packs you won’t run out for 288 days, and even if you are somehow using a roll of toilet paper every day, that would still be 144 days worth.

Seem a bit silly yet?

In spite of top health officials stating that the key to not becoming infected with coronavirus is social distancing, avoidance of unnecessary travel, and washing your hands, somehow toilet paper has become the symbol for preparedness around the world. 

I’m no expert, but I am pretty sure owning more toilet paper doesn’t lower your chances of getting COVID19, especially if, in a blind toilet paper fuelled panic, you gather with hoards of other people and rub up against one another to buy massive amounts of products you likely already have enough of.

It would be far safer to wait until quieter times of the day to do your shopping, but most people are either all shopping right when stores open, or the typical shopping times around the middle of the day, just causing needless panic, frustration, or even violence in some cases.

The panic around COVID19 has actually caused an artificial shortage of toilet paper in a form of circular logic. People are buying out the shelves out of fear that the shelves will be brought out if they don’t buy as much as they can right away.

This often happens during natural disasters where fuel shortages occur because the public assumes there will be a shortage and then all begin purchasing fuel at the same time. What is currently happening with toilet paper, canned foods, and other goods is no different.

Companies that produce the type of goods currently being cleaned off the shelves have not stopped production, or shipment, so there is little reason to stock up like a Y2K prepper. 

There will always be more on the way so panic buying a half dozen packs of toilet paper or a pallet of canned foods just causes those who actually need more to have to potentially wait several days unnecessarily. 


I’m fairly certain the current coronavirus health crisis is not a competition against those around you, so depriving someone else of resources, especially toilet paper, for no realistic benefit to yourself just seems paranoid. If anything, an over-focus on prepping could cause one to forget the real priority which is hand washing and social distancing

Not only is it smart to only buy in quantities you normally would and stay away from stores during busy periods, I believe it is a responsibility to model calm and rational behaviour in order to ease the nerves of others. Right now people are only losing their minds over coronavirus cause others also seem to be.

Although you should avoid unneeded trips away from your home, that doesn’t mean you can’t leave the way some people’s grocery store purchases seem to indicate. You can still go out to and patronize local businesses, just do so at quieter times of day and avoid getting too close to others.

Coronavirus doesn’t have to keep you hidden in your home, and definitely doesn’t require you to hoard toilet paper, so rethink any future plans to purchase a hotel’s worth at your next visit to the grocery store, you seriously don’t need it.

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

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