We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware that some of the products and services linked in this article are from our sponsors.
As the severity of the coronavirus pandemic becomes more and more obvious, people all over the United States are rushing to supermarkets and scooping just about everything off the shelves.
Panic buying is understandable, says David Savage, associate professor of behavioral economics at the University of Newcastle in Australia. “It is rational to prepare for something bad,” Savage told the BBC. However, “it is not rational to buy 500 cans of baked beans.”
Most of the time, essential items aren’t in short supply; producers just can’t ship them to stores fast enough. Take a breath and channel your efforts elsewhere. There are plenty of genuinely useful things you can do to protect yourself during this frightening time.
1. You don’t need that much toilet paper
Few things make you feel more vulnerable than running out of toilet paper. Maybe that’s why TP, of all things, has been rolling off the shelves for weeks on end.
The problem is feeding off itself. Steven Taylor, a professor and clinical psychologist at the University of British Columbia and the author of The Psychology of Pandemics, told CNN that people resort to extremes during a panic. Without clear direction from officials, people simply copy what others are doing — which is buying lots of toilet paper.
How much do you really need, though? The website HowMuchToiletPaper.com provides a simple calculator. A paltry 12-pack will last a family of four the entire length of a two-week quarantine. Buy two if you’re worried, not 10.
Keep reading to learn Surgical and N95 masks aren’t for you