Did You Run Out of Toilet Paper During the Pandemic?

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Did You Run Out of Toilet Paper During the Pandemic?

Seems like a silly question to ask since the CDC has issued new mask guidelines for perople who have been vaccinated and most states are lifting indoor social distancing measures.

I didn’t run out of toilet paper during the pandemic. I don’t run out of toilet paper…EVER! I am part prepared and possibly part paranoid, but whatever the case, I rarely run out of anythng in my household – from deodorant to laundry detergent to toothpaste. There was hand sanitizer and wipes in my home and car long before the pandemic began. I am not an extreme couponer or a hoarder, but I definitely strive to have one backup of everything that I need or at least a plan to head to the store and make the purchase before the items run out. I realize that this option is a luxury that many people don’t have and I am grateful that it is my reality.

People who complained about toilet paper hoarding had no clue what the circumstances or reasons were for people’s purchases. For most families, the adults were at work and the children at school the majority of the day with the likelihood of extracurricular activities and family outings in the evenings and on the weekends. That is a lot of time to use the bathroom outside of your home. The quarantine pandemic forced everyone to be at home together and use the bathroom at home for basically 24 hours a day and 7 days a week – without knowing when the mandate would be lifted. People needed to buy extra toilet paper. Other things that most angry folks didn’t take into account as they blamed ‘selfish hoarders’ for a toilet paper shortage:

  • Commercial toilet paper and household toilet paper are different, and companies needed to shift production which caused a back-up
  • Some people have large families
  • Some single people decided to quarantine together which increased household size
  • Some people were buying for relatives and neighbors who were unable to go to the store
  • Some people anticipating a loss of income and needed to stock up on supplies while the money was available
  • Some people were purchasing in bulk because they may not have had transportation to get to the store later
  • I could go on…

Anyway, the reason that I am posing this question today is because of our current gas shortage due to the Colonial Pipeline hack. People are panic buying gasoline. I filled my tank up last week and have been doing very little driving. I have not been to the gas station since a shortage was announced. I don’t have a problem with people filling their gas tanks even in multiple family cars. I am also not upset about a person filling one gas can just to feel safe. I am extremely concerned about the dangerous behavior I have seen online though. I don’t understand why people don’t understand that gasoline is highly flammable and should only be stored in approved containers!! I am honestly baffled!

  • I saw a video of a woman putting gasoline in a Target bag. Just a tiny hole in the bag…
  • I saw a woman filling up a large ‘Oscar the Grouch’ trash can. I have no idea how she planned to lift it into her car.
  • I saw a video of a woman driving through a gas station with a gas can in a child’s motorized car. Did she not realize how easy it would be for a driver not to see her?
  • I saw people filling a dozen gas cans and loading them into a truck. Let’s hope they made it home accident free.
  • I saw a man who filled up 5 gas cans then got into a Hummer and lit a cigarette as he exited the gas station and set his vehicle on fire.

WHY? People, people, people…

I understand the need and desire to be prepared.  I understand not wanting to get stuck at home if there if an emergency.

But, people…

Let’s use common sense here. Your actions are reckless. You are endangering your life and the lives of those around you. THINK instead of reacting in fear.

Did I already say that gasoline is highly flammable?!

Nicki Sanders, MSW, CEO, is a Career and Empowerment Strategist who helps high-performing women of color in management go from overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated to energized, well paid, and appreciated. Through Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting, she also helps businesses recruit, hire, train, and retain great employees. Nicki has an extensive background in developing and managing successful programs and leading high-functioning multi-disciplinary teams. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has combined her gift for authentic relationships, Master of Social Work degree, and over 20 years of diverse work experience to create a life she loves. Nicki is a lover of cupcakes, travel, and 80’s hip hop and R&B music.

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