My take on the great toilet paper run of 2020. I have twenty years in military intelligence followed by a career in business consulting (admittedly, as a lawyer) where I worked with human behaviors mainly, followed by a career as an author where I’ve published some 24 books in the post-apocalyptic genre. The bottom is twofold. It started with people who have no idea how to prep for relatively long-term isolation. And it ended with the scarcity principle.
If you were in any way, shape, or form ready for a one-month lockdown (as we are perpetually because we live in the Sub-Arctic), then you would have one-month supplies on hand of everything and then some, including fuel and water. If you live in a bigger city, this isn’t always possible. You go to the grocery store multiple times a week to get what you need because the modern supply chain makes the concept of running out of anything unfathomable. That is not today – we’ve run out because a logistics chain that has been successfully delivering toilet paper to over 325 million butts day in, day out was overwhelmed when a couple hundred million doubled their purchases for that extra couple weeks when they wouldn’t be able to go out. It’ll catch back up because the backbone of modern society is our robust and redundant supply chain.
If people had been preparing for a contingency (military intel makes one paranoid because you have no idea about the real threats out there) all along, the surge would not have overwhelmed the system because it would have been a trickle and not a flood. Give it a month for production to catch up and you’ll find big box stores with a massive glut of toilet paper. The real preppers will wait until they put that stuff on sale for half price to clear the shelf space, while too many will have no place to put extra TP because they bought it during the scarcity, worried they wouldn’t be able to buy again.
And now that is happening with food, too. But the wrong kinds of food because people have no idea about survival level rationing of meals. Others are stuck buying whatever they can get. Once again, real preppers already have stocks of canned meat and frozen meat (up here, if power is lost, just roll the freezer outside and you’re good for six months out of the year, or fire up your generator because we all have them). Those better equipped for an emergency have frozen vegetables on hand and starter seeds already growing in the garage or back room. We have three feet of snow on the ground mid-March, so when it gets past the last freeze maybe in May, those seedlings need to be well-grown and ready to go. But if you live in town, that option is taken away, which means that peace of mind is taken away. Back to the store to see what’s left.
Medical professionals are the frontline soldiers who will battle the enemy, but for the rest of us, the heroes of this adventure are those who work in warehouses, drive trucks, and stock shelves. They will be the ones, when everything is said and done, who will have kept America alive. Wendy took this picture of our house – it is what the back of beyond looks like.