• 2020.05.11
  • What’s the fuss about toilet paper Down Under?
I wanted to talk about the difficult times we are experiencing here in Australia with this COVID 19, but then I thought that we can get all the sad and worrisome data about the contagion from the news, so I wanted to take a different approach to the matter and talk about something peculiar is happening here Australia, which is the “disappearance” of toilet paper in the supermarkets, or better the looting of it.
It started in Australia already a few weeks back well before the mandatory quarantine, but then it also started happening in other parts of the world, like in the United States, probably still following the Australian model because this ‘trend’ somehow started here!
Supermarkets have reported the assault on toilet paper stocks as a consequence of the spreading of the coronavirus and there are videos online of people scuffling in front of half-empty shelves, and on social media toilet rolls have become a kind of meme to symbolize objects that have suddenly become luxury items, together with other extremely rare goods like hand sanitizing gel, rubbing alcohol or other disinfectants for personal hygiene.
At the beginning, it was a mystery for me that of all the things that people should stock up on during an epidemic like that – or during any emergency that is – many people had chosen toilet paper.
To find out what's behind this particular form of obsession, I decided to talk to some of my Australian colleagues about prepping and about what they chose to stock up in their homes during this emergency. I must tell you though that supermarkets never closed down nor threatened to do so.
Most of my colleagues told me that since everyone is panicking, then they are panicking too and therefore they bought the toilet paper as a precaution.
One of them told me that since hygiene is important with this virus story, it’s important to stock up any item concerning personal hygiene and therefore rolls too.
Someone told me that unfortunately there are those who are taking advantage of other people, without any compassion even in a situation like this, and they are buying many rolls to then sell them at high prices online since it’s a ‘commodity’ everyone needs at some point.
In Australia, there is no lack of food, at least not for now, and personally this is my main concern.
But for some reason, everyone is focusing on toilet paper at the moment maybe because there are many kinds of foods out there one can eat and before we run out of what we can find in the warehouses we have a long way to go.
Also for toilet paper, I think there is no way people use toilet paper so quickly and the factories are still open for staple goods so I have no rush to invade my home with rolls of toilet paper, that would make me kind of anxious indeed, like I’m no getting out of my shelter for years to come.
Unfortunately, I literally ran out of toilet paper at home and now most supermarkets have imposed the rule of one package per person and it’s hard to find out which one has it in stock.
It's funny to see friends talking about this topic on social media, suggesting each other places where to find toilet paper and seeing people rushing to grab some when they get a tip.
Honestly, it’s more important for me to stock healthy foods but also TIM TAMs (yummy Australian chocolate biscuits), chips, drinks and yummy foods to keep me company during these hard times, perhaps while I am watching a nice TV series on TV.


  • Alberto Ferrando
  • Jobcivil engineer

Hello everyone! I’m originally from Italy and I moved to Sydney, Australia, in 2012 after getting a job as a civil engineer. I love walking my dog along the beach, surfing and taking photos. I used to have a travel blog because I’m passionate about traveling and I love writing about it too. Sydney is my home base now and I wish to share how amazing it is to live here. I love to spend time outdoors and I’m always well informed about local events because my girlfriend works in event management.

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