Here we are three years removed from the onset of the COVID pandemic, and I have to stay that THAT particular fact is, in and of itself, mind-boggling.

The Great 2020 Toilet Paper Shortage

In March of 2020, when it hit, we were all at a loss. Nothing like it had ever happened, and we were all wondering what our next steps were. Then everything started shutting down, except for the essentials like grocery stores, pharmacies, laundromats...that sort of thing. Back then, I couldn't even envision what 2023 would be like. But I did wonder if it was still going to be like it was then.

One way MANY people thought they could get ahead of the game was to stock up on certain products like they never had before. Gone from store shelves--seemingly in the blink of an eye--were cans of Lysol, hand sanitizer, and, of course, toilet paper.

I completely understood the run on the first two items--and yes, I've left some things out, I'm sure--but, for the life of me, I did not understand why folks felt the need to back a dump truck up to Kroger and load up a gazillion of Charmin 12-packs.

Why Were People Buying So Much Toilet Paper, of All Things?

Why on Earth did everyone think a virus meant we were going to suddenly run into a shortage of toilet paper? I mean, I kind of goof on the egg-bread-milk thing when there's even a hint of snow--look out, it's another "French toast alert"--but even that makes more sense to me than buying more toilet paper than you're going to need over the next decade.

But Forbes suggests a very simple answer, and it makes sense...up to a point. Their answer is panic-buying. And I "buy" that. However, there were many items I had no trouble finding back then. So yes, the question lingers about toilet paper. If folks were anticipating a supply-chain issue, I applaud them for their forward-thinking, but again, other necessities were plentiful. There's also the belief that toilet paper rapidly vanished because of a kind of "domino effect."

Did You Finally Run Out of All Your Toilet Paper?

So yes, that begs the question...who still has toilet paper from your 2020 emergency purchases?

I've conducted exhaustive searches and cannot find any recent feature stories about people still using toilet paper from when they bought tons of it in 2020, so maybe everyone DID run out. And I guess if you have a big enough family, you would. I was single at the time and had just purchased a twelve-pack PRIOR to the onset of the pandemic. So I got lucky and never had to worry about it.

Maybe three years IS enough time to go through all those rolls of toilet paper. But when I saw how much people were buying at the time, I had to wonder if they were going to need to bequeath it to someone in their will.

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