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Old 13th March 2020, 06:08 PM   #200
Rolfe
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
True.

I don't know if the supply chain for those items is such that that sort of purchasing would result in the shortages we are seeing, though. If, on a normal day, everyone who didn't have a week's supply of toilet paper went to the store to buy a week's supply of toilet paper, would the store shelves end up empty, three days in a row?

I suppose it's possible, but I doubt it. Even two weeks supply? I think there are plenty of people buying a month's worth or more.

ETA: Paper towels are a different story. People will use more paper towels over the next few weeks than normal, so I can see that selling out due to manufacturing and distribution not being able to keep up with demand.

Oh, the toilet paper thing is nuts for sure. Of all the items that one could manage without with a bit of a work-round, that's near the top of the list. But long-life milk, tins of soup, crispbreads, porridge oats, tinned meat and vegetables, that sort of thing, it makes sense.

I was lucky. Early in January 2019 I went on a ten-week cruise. The ship didn't get back to England until less than two weeks before the then Brexit date and I had no confidence we wouldn't crash out with huge disruption. Obviously 12 days was not long enough to rely on getting in a stock of things if it really did look likely they'd be needed.

Starting in November 2018, every time I went to the supermarket or the pet store I bought extra. I had a list on my computer of what I thought I should store, and worked my way through it. I have a large double garage with a ceiling, which forms a loft accessed by a loft ladder from the garage. The space is cool and dry. There's nothing there but empty boxes and a stock of incandescent light bulbs. Or there wasn't.

I carted stuff up a bit at a time, wanting to know that if news reports from Britain in early March spoke of alarm and panic buying, I'd have the security of knowing I had supplies even if the shelves were bare by the time we docked. I thought I'd be eating the stuff through 2019, one way or another.

But the Brexit situation was only repeatedly postponed, never resolved. I couldn't swear even now that we won't crash out at the end of this year, but now that might be the least of our worries. Anyway, although I used the things with the shorter expiry dates last summer, I left all the non-perishables and dry goods where they were.

Last Saturday I went to the International Women's Day protest in front of the Scottish parliament, and on the way home I swung by the supermarket and got pretty much all I needed to replace the items I'd used up. There was very little long-life milk left, but I had a large tin of dried milk and some tins of condensed milk in the stash, and I stuck an extra two pints into my freezer as well. I got everything else.

So when this virus comes into the village, I can stay away from everybody for quite an extended time, without even going to the shop. I even have spare to help neighbours if necessary.

But there's still only a single 16-pack of toilet rolls there. Let's not get ridiculous.
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