The Global Toilet Paper Panic-demic

The Global Pandemic of COVID-19 has released one thing to the American public and that is proof that our society is made up largely of panicking survivalists, willing to gut the supply of basic necessities like toilet paper, paper towels, soaps, coffee ice cream — and as of this morning, pre-made cookie dough.

Gun sales are also up, but this is not a surprise because most cities have designated local gun stores as being “essential businesses.”  But besides stocking up on weapons, no matter where one has gone in recent weeks the aisles in the grocery stores and big box retailers have been emptied of essentials such as toilet paper and cleaning supplies.  Even when ordering online at places like Costco and Amazon, everything has been out of stock, with no indication of when the sanitary products will be available. 

Last night I got an idea and that was to try and work with the algorithms of amazon.com, which is easily the largest online retailer.  Instead of searching for the term “toilet paper,” I put in various politically related terms such as “Donald Trump toilet paper,” “Joe Biden toilet paper” and even “Hillary Clinton toilet paper.”  The results were what you would expect, plenty of six packs of bathroom tissue emblazoned with the faces of these controversial political figures. (The “Hillary” toilet paper was actually a “twofer” because it included the face of Mrs. Clinton and her husband, Bill.)
These were good leads to getting in-stock bathroom supplies but my wife and I agreed that it would be too weird to have the faces of these people for our sanitary needs, and we certainly did not want the face of Donald Trump anywhere in our home.  So I searched again, this time using the search term “MAGA toilet paper”. The results were better than expected as this was apparently where America’s supply of toilet paper had gone.
From the MAGA search, I was immediately able to order an 18-pack of Charmin’ Ultra-Strong, Clean Touch toilet paper as well as a 16-pack of Bounty paper towels.  Surely this would be enough to see a household of two through the current inventory crisis! I ordered both and they will be shipped to my home next week.
There is no sign of when the toilet paper pandemic will be over — apparently the manufacturers of this product don’t consider it cost-effective to ramp up production of something that is normally carefully produced based on normal buying habits.  So my suggestion is to be smart about this.  Check for toilet paper, tissue paper, flushable wipes — anything that will not clog your toilet pipes — when you are out shopping.  And keep an eye on inventory online at your favorite retailers — and order as fast as you can!
Worst case scenario is to search on Amazon for your favorite (or least favorite) political figure.  You will find ample supply from all sides of the U.S. political spectrum, which may give you a sense of satisfaction every time that you have to “go” and use this special product.