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article imageOp-Ed: Trending on Twitter — Toilet paper and hoarding

By Karen Graham     Mar 15, 2020 in Internet
The coronavirus pandemic risks bringing out the very worst of humanity. From price gouging to hoarding - an "everyone for themselves" mentality seems to have taken over otherwise sane and responsible people around the globe.
While it is ridiculous that anyone would think a family would need 12 packages of Charmin toilet paper, or for that matter, 12 bottles of liquid hand cleaner, this is really happening in this country and around the world. It is almost like the party question that asks participants to name two items you would want to have with you if you were stranded on a desert island.
So this situation with the coronavirus scaring the crap out of everyone is our desert island, and thus - the toilet paper binge-buying. But this particular behavior goes back much further than most of us realize. It is because we, as humans. trust our feelings over facts.
Paul Slovic, a University of Oregon psychologist, who studies risk perception, explains: "In the earliest days when we were evolving, there were plenty of dangers around, and those dangers were directly experienced, they were threats that we faced directly from threatening creatures or other tribes, it was all very direct and concrete. So these reactions based on feelings were very beneficial in helping us act quickly and to recognize friend from foe, it was us against them."
And while I fully understand the fear and flight reaction Slovik is talking about, I can't for the life of me see what toilet paper has to do with anything. Take hurricane warnings for example. We rush out and buy bread, milk and quick and easy food supplies, right?
I think toilet paper started trending on Twitter after a video was posted on Twitter showing what has to be one of the most disheartening and pathetic displays of humanity ever uploaded to the Internet. It is a recording of an actual fight that broke out between two women in a Woolworth's over a package of toilet paper.
Humor can still be found, even with the coronavirus
One thing is for sure - we are all in this together, fighting a common enemy. Yet this does not mean we must wring our hands and talk doom and gloom. There is humor in this particular crisis, even if we have to make it up.
And so it is with the focus on toilet paper. Just think - while TP has spent an eternity on the underside of humanity, it now has become a well-traveled jet-setter.
One of my favorites is this tweet about duct tape. I am a big believer in the many, many uses for this remarkable tape, but had never given a thought to using it for hygenic purposers.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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