Whilst I am well stocked for toilet paper, and have been for many years, I am troubled by the predicament that may be faced by some of my family and friends and colleagues, so I have been sharing from my stash in the past week.
I decided that, rather than hope that supermarkets replenish their stocks or alternatively to queue at all sorts of odd and counterproductive hours, it might be smart to find an alternative way to get a supply. Hence, on Thursday, I logged onto my Amazon account and for the first time ever (I have no love for Amazon) ordered something other than books, DVDs or CDs. I ordered a 32 roll pack of toilet paper. ETA is between 22 April, and 7 May. I can wait.
One of the possible outcomes from this pandemic and associated Toilet Paper Apocalypse is that people who prefer to shop for groceries in store start shifting in major numbers to online ordering and delivery.
It’s possible, but not certain. Coles and Woolworths, who have been building their online ordering businesses for quite some time, are not able to satisfy demand and I get the impression that people are losing confidence in this service from them. Amazon itself has so far underwhelmed in its grocery delivery business in Australia, but this does present an opportunity for them to get a foot in the door. After all, I would have ordered my toilet paper online from Coles or Woolworths if I had any confidence that it would arrive anytime soon.
More soberly, as of this moment, there have been 271,901 cases globally (there were 258,750 cases four hours ago), and 11304 deaths (an extra 28 since four hours ago). Parts of Italy where I spent several joyous days 6 months ago, such as Milan and the Veneto, have been devastated by the Grim Reaper. 47,021 cases in Italy so far. And we now have 854 in Australia.
This is not the end of the world. However, there will be major economic disruption and we are all worried, not so much for ourselves, but for those we care about.