As someone wisely pointed out this week, the absence of toilet paper is not solely the result of toilet paper holders.
In the normal way of things, most adults spend at least part of their day out of the house related to employment. Children spend time at school. People go to restaurants, concerts, sporting events. In all of those situations, the toilet paper used is supplied by the location as it is not the custom in the US to supply your own no matter where you are.
Now, with everyone home, those extra 8-12 hours of toilet use – and prime awake time at that – are transferred to the home. This results in the increased use of home toilet paper.
In addition, if you are suffering from seasonal allergies (unfortunately extremely common right now in the Northern Hemisphere) you are also pushing fluids. Or if you are coughing, drinking a lot of fluids improves your health. In any case – this results in more trips to the loo.
If every person who normally buys toilet paper bought just one extra package in a two week period, the shelves would be empty. Well, duh! The shelves are empty! Also of interest is that the commercial supply (restaurants, hotels, convention centers, schools….) is a completely different supply chain than that for the home market. Since most of us don’t want to buy 100-1000 rolls at a time (nor can we even get accounts) it isn’t easy to shift between the systems.
So before you look askance at the person who has bought a package of 12 rolls of toilet paper, they may not be hoarding. In fact, they may be like this household where we buy once for three locations (upstairs, downstairs, Richmond) from one package.
At least that was one thought, not that there aren’t those who have years supply in their garage in case of the apocalypse.