With panic already setting in parts of the world following the coronavirus why are some people stocking up on toilet paper?

Today,  #toiletpapergate and #toiletpapercrisis was trending on social media.

In Australia shelves normally stocked high with toilet paper are bare despite the country only having had 41 confirmed cases and one death.

Police were said to have been called with reports saying a knife was pulled out in an argument over toilet roll between shoppers.

In Sydney one company has implemented a four pack buying limit.


It seems many Australians may well be able to live without many things but toilet paper is not one of them.

Associate Professor Nitika Garg from the University of New South Wales told the BBC, "They think if this person is buying it, if my neighbour is buying there's got to be a reason and I need to get in too."

Prof Garg said there was a greater motivation to stock up on white ply because "there's a thinking that toilet paper can be substituted for tissues and napkins and to make makeshift masks".

And adds, "But when it comes to coronavirus, people aren't certain as to how things are going to pan out, or how much worse it's going to get."

"They want to be prepared because it's the one thing they can do to get some sense of control."

Whilst many will be stocking up on the toilet roll others will be happy to know ‘we’ have an alternative.

The trusted lota, a utensil used to wash the private parts is a familiar sight in many Asian households has stood the test of time and is still something that most of us cannot do without. It is like the silent hardworking friend who gives and gives but never asks anything in return.

So, not matter what the crisis it seems Australians would be be better off and much smarter to invest in a lota on their next shopping trip.