Yesterday the Dutch government announced several more safety rules to battle the Corona virus. Many of them are just common sense kind of things, like “Don’t shake hands”, “If you’re experiencing symptoms, stay at home for a full week.”. Also, events with over 100 people have been cancelled. All the rules will be in effect at least until the end of March and then the government will reevaluate the situation.
Apparently the Dutch have heard the news that toilet paper is going to disappear from stores as well, because everyone was going batshit crazy for toilet rolls after yesterday’s announcement. When we were in the supermarket today, this is what we found.
Empty racks, because people were hoarding the stuff! I really don’t understand why, because, frankly, toilet paper would be the last of my worries if I were put under quarantine! But it seemed that this hoarding tendency wasn’t just limited to toilet paper, but also to canned food, pasta, painkillers (!) and bread. Apparently the media has created so much hype around this whole Corona virus that we are now experiencing a mass hysteria.
What’s interesting, however, is the psychological view on this whole thing. Nearly everyone I know thinks that people are behaving in a really peculiar, almost manic kind of way. It also appears that I don’t know anyone who is showing these hoarding symptoms. Or, they’re just not willing to admit it. What we are seeing now is a very “sheep” like effect. People see pictures of the empty stores, they see and hear this in the news and on social media and all of a sudden, they’re thinking “But what if I don’t join into this? I might not have any toilet paper if I don’t buy any now.” So they let their fears lead them and they also buy the products they fear will not be available soon. And that’s how we get a snowball effect where everyone fears they might draw the short straw and end up being unable to clean their bottoms. Because there’s no such thing as running water, or any other alternatives to toilet paper.
Personally, I feel quite disappointed at the state of Humanity when I look at how people are behaving right now. Sure, we need to take all the necessary precautions to prevent COVID-19 from spreading, but this is just taking it too far. The virus is more deadly than a regular flu virus, but it is far from the next black plague that will wipe a third of Humanity. I really think people need to keep things in perspective when it comes to this virus, sadly a lot of people choose not to compare numbers, or to collect information and think rationally, before jumping to conclusions and buying all the toilet paper, because they might be in quarantine for two weeks. Because that’s pretty much what it will mean if you do get COVID-19. And even if you do, the chances you’ll live are far greater than the chances you won’t. I know I’m not losing any sleep over this virus, I wish more people were rational about it by being well informed and taking precautions without overdoing it.
What do you think? Are people going crazy? Or am I being way to sober about all of this? Please let me know in the comments! 😉