I am writing to urge you please resist the temptation to stockpile food and toilet rolls. Don’t give in the idea of buying more than you need. It is heartbreaking and disappoint to read the news and see pictures of elderly people in tears at the supermarket, staring at emptied shelves.
It’s a mystery why people have been mass-buying items like toilet paper and paper towels recently, since toilet paper does not offer special protection against the virus and there is no problem with the toilet paper supply chain. In Australia, people have bought up to three Christmases’ worth of shopping in just three weeks.
In case you’re still in doubt about the sturdiness of that supply chain, here’s a thoughtful Toilet Paper Calculator that can help you work out whether the Loo Roll Apocalypse is really upon us or not. “You’re a few seconds away from learning how much toilet paper you really need in case of quarantine,” says the website. You can even calculate how long your existing supply will last you.
I am here to urge everyone: Please take a moment to ask the elderly people if they need anything. You can even give them something from your shopping cart that is no longer on the shelves. There is a lot of widespread panic and it is understandable, as we are all facing a pandemic of the type that no one has ever experienced. In this time of crisis, we need to remain united, stick together and help each other out.
Thankfully, there are more and more supermarkets taking action to help elderly and disabled people, such as the stores in London that reserve the first two hours after opening for the elderly; local American communities that are creating volunteer groups in every borough to bring elderly and high-risk people their medicines and groceries; and corporations that are putting limits on purchases of essentials products. My fellow citizens, we are all in this global crisis together. Please unite and give a hand to someone in need.