What drove American consumers en masse to empty store shelves of toilet paper in early 2020?
The media was just beginning to beat the drums of doom and gloom over the killer virus that would be coming to the shores of America.
The WHO (World Health Organization) had sounded the alarm—the Coronavirus was a pandemic.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) was predicting the U.S. would be hit hard by the novel Coronavirus.
It all produced a purely rational reaction by U.S. consumers—the toilet paper pandemic of 2020.
When there is a run on toilet paper you know the country is in full blown panic mode.
Ordinarily reasonable people were rushing to buy up toilet paper, paper towels and hand sanitizer—creating artificial shortages and price gouging.
The panic was in full force.
Soon American grocery store shelves would be stripped clean, resembling those of third world countries.
It was all a reaction to panic—the unknown.
Would the Coronavirus create real shortages?
Would the system collapse under the COVID-19 threat?
There was no room for rational voices.
One couldn’t question the WHO without being shouted down by the media, even though this wouldn’t be the first time the WHO had overreacted.
They aren’t known as the chicken littles of institutions for nothing.
Still, they couldn’t be questioned.
Dr. Fauci of the CDC, without a shred of evidence, stated there could be 100s of thousands of deaths in the U.S..
Neil Ferguson, an epidemiologist at the Imperial College of London projected 2.2 million could die in the U.S. along with 500,000 in the U.K.
Even though no hard evidence was presented to support the claims made by Fauci or Ferguson, the media had made it clear—no one could question the seriousness of the threat.
Across the media spectrum the onslaught was unending.
Is it any wonder the public reacted with hoard behavior?
The uncertainty the media projected drove the public to a fundamental human reaction.
Then in a purely hypocritical move—the same media that had driven the panic had the audacity to tell the public not to hoard.
The media was now telling the public not to react to the panic they were inciting—not to engage in the rational action of hoarding.
The toilet paper pandemic of 2020 was a direct reaction to the panic induced by the media—not to reality.