Coronavirus spooking

Not much to report today. I worked on some comics. And I did some shopping.

The ongoing coronavirus outbreaks around the world seem to have spooked the Australian public. Since the weekend there have been increasing reports of people panic buying various items to stockpile. Health authorities here have been suggesting that it would be prudent to add a couple of cans of vegetables and a maybe an extra bag of flour or pasta or something to the weekly grocery shopping, but not to go overboard.

Today some of my friends reported that at their local supermarkets, there were no supplies at all of toilet paper, long-life milk, rice, hand sanitising gel, and a few other products. In Sydney face masks have been in very low supply for a couple of months already, because so many people bought supplies of those during the bushfire emergency when the smoke pollution was out of hand – so there’s none of those to be had anywhere.

I figured a little prudent stocking up would be sensible and went to my local supermarket today. The only signs I saw were that roughly half the toilet paper and half the rice shelves were empty, but I still easily managed to get a bit of each. But things are distributed unevenly across the city.

I also heard from a neighbour that in another suburb he’d seen people standing by the side of the road selling rolls of toilet paper at inflated prices. So someone’s trying to profiteer from this. It’s crazy that this sort of thing is happening in a first world country like Australia.

What also staggers me is the fact that of all things toilet paper seems to be the thing that everyone wants to buy enormous quantities of. I would have thought, you know, food would be more important in a survival situation.

New content today:

2 thoughts on “Coronavirus spooking”

  1. Toilet paper is good in case of sniffles…
    But people are weird and irrational – what do they think will happen in a 2 weeks isolation situation…
    I still think the flu is more dangerous.

  2. Toilet paper is harder to substitute. I’ve got a freezer and cupboards full of food. It might get to the point where we’re eating this because that’s what we have, rather than because that’s what we fancy tonight, but it would take weeks to run out of food entirely.

    toilet roll, on the other hand, is really a thing by itself. You either have it, or you don’t.

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