This has undoubtedly been a surreal month for all of us. The spread of COVID-19 has triggered several drastic preventative measures from the government, including cancelling school, cancelling March Madness, closing Disneyland, and now Washington state is closing down restaurants, bars, and places of entertainment. It seems like every day we get updates on new restrictions, which inevitably causes panic to set in.
One interesting and puzzling way people are dealing with this pandemic is to hoard toilet paper. According to Steven Taylor, a psychologist and the author of “The Psychology of Pandemics,” there are a few reasons people are resorting to this behavior. The mixed messages from authorities and government make people nervous and naturally, they want to prepare. But what are they preparing for? Without clear information, people assume the worst and are hoarding supplies in case of the apocalypse. This leads to another reason – over-prepping gives people a sense of control. However, panic-buying begets panic-buying, thus creating an endless cycle.
If you find yourself on your last rolls of toilet paper, don’t fear! We’ve got some creative solutions for you.
Most stores may be out of toilet paper, but they are well-stocked with tissues of all kinds. Granted, tissues are going to be softer and not as strong as toilet paper, but they will flush down the toilet, which is convenient. By using the “Wipe, fold, wipe, fold” method, you can make one tissue go pretty far!
Surprisingly, baby wipes are still in stock. You’d think with all of the panic-buying and over-prepping, baby supplies would be sold out, but that’s not the case. At least, not yet. The downside to using baby wipes is that you aren’t supposed to flush them – yes, even the ones that claim to be flushable. You can keep a roll of doggie waste bags, or plastic grocery bags, or ziplock bags next to the toile and dispose of the wipes that way. This does create a lot of waste, but desperate times call for desperate measures!
This option makes sense. If napkins are good enough for your face, they are good enough for your bum! However, you’ll run into the same problem as the wipes – you shouldn’t flush napkins down the toilet. Thus, it’s time to pull out the stash of plastic grocery bags I know you have stored in your kitchen somewhere. It’s their time to shine!
In case you haven’t caught on by now, we’re basically going through a list of paper products that can be found in the same aisle as toilet paper. Shockingly, it all works pretty much the same as toilet paper, you just have to get creative with the disposal.
Phone Book & Newspaper
If you’re really desperate and you happen to have a forgotten phone book from 1996, you can put those pages to good use! A newspaper will also work. To make things easier, you can cut up the phone book pages or newspaper into squares and have them available next to the toilet, along with baggies to dispose of them in. Remember to use non-shiny paper – so no magazines!
Bidets are used all over the world, but not so much here in America. Sure, the thought of spraying your tush with water may seem strange, but is it worse than not being able to clean yourself up? I think not. Did you know you can buy bidet attachments at Walmart, hardware stores, and on Amazon? Honestly, it’s not a bad investment to make, especially if the worst is yet to come.
At the end of the day, you can always use clean rags. Washcloths, old shirts, socks, scrap fabric, the list goes on and on. While cleaning said rags might be an unpleasant thought, at least it’s environmentally friendly!