We are entering uncharted territory in America to combat the pandemic coronavirus. Between precautionary guidelines becoming stricter by the day and major cities being forced into full lockdown mode to stop COVID-19 from spreading, people are also “panic buying” — purchasing extremely large amounts of an item they believe is crucial to surviving self-quarantine, with the most popular essential being toilet paper.
But in Newport, Oregon, the fear of running out of toilet paper was apparently so terrifying, locals were calling 911 to report about it. The coastal town, which has a population of around 10,500 residents, called 911 enough times about the lack of toilet paper that the Newport Oregon Police Department was forced to make a statement on the matter:
“It’s hard to believe that we even have to post this. Do not call 911 just because you ran out of toilet paper. You will survive without our assistance. In fact, history offers many other options for you in your time of need if you cannot find a roll of your favorite soft, ultra-plush two-ply citrus-scented tissue. Seamen used old rope and anchor lines soaked in saltwater. Ancient Romans used a sea sponge on a stick, also soaked in saltwater. We are a coastal town. We have an abundance of saltwater available. Seashells were also used.”
While it may sound like a joke, the 911 phone lines absolutely need to be reserved for those with actual life or death emergencies, or anyone who’s tested positive for COVID-19. Therefore, The Newport Police Department in Oregan offered up numerous toilet paper substitutions in their notice.
They suggest trying “grocery receipts, newspaper, cloth rags, lace, cotton balls, and that empty toilet paper roll sitting on the holder right now. Plus, there are a variety of leaves you can safely use. Mother Earth News magazine will even tell you how to make your own wipes using fifteen different leaves. When all else fails, you have magazine pages. Start saving those catalogs you get in the mail that you usually toss into the recycle bin. Be resourceful. Be patient. There is a TP shortage. This too shall pass. Just don’t call 9-1-1. We cannot bring you toilet paper.”
The Lack Of Toilet Paper Available During Coronavirus Has Become A National Joke
Even before the President declared America to be in a state of “national emergency” due to coronavirus, people across the nation were stockpiling up on frozen foods, cleaning supplies, and of course, toilet paper. Every single grocery store appeared to be completely out of bathroom tissue. After continously finding bare shelves in the toilet paper aisle, people couldn’t help but start laughing at the issue.
Toilet paper does not cure coronavirus. And the panic to purchase toilet paper is causing shoppers to get into fights, which is not funny at all. Steven Taylor, a clinical psychologist explained to CNN that “when people are told something dangerous is coming, but all you need to do is wash your hands, the action doesn’t seem proportionate to the threat. Special danger needs special precautions.”