“I can tell you, going out to buy toilet paper in the U.S. is a completely predictable experience.”

— Evan Osnos, journalist

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a run on toilet paper.

Many made fun, asking, “What do they think they’re going to use all that toilet paper for?” and, my favorite, “What has toilet paper got to do with the coronavirus?”

Any paranoid worth his or her salt knows why we needed toilet paper when we’re facing a pandemic.

We thought we might not be able to get out at all for months. Therefore, toilet paper. It’s that simple.

It’s never going to go bad, so why not stock up when you’re facing what might be the End Times?

Plus, the paranoids knew others would be on the prowl for extra toilet paper, so we knew there would be a shortage, even if briefly.

Normally, I keep more than enough TP to do for a month, but when the COVID hit our area, I was caught unprepared. 

Thinking I was smart, I decided to order some. I went to my favorite shopping site and it was going for $25 a package. And you weren’t going to get it until July.

Thinking the worse, I decided I might be willing to sacrifice a finger for TP by July, so I searched until I found a case for $8.99. Finally, I found one of those too-good-to-be-true purchases I hear about from others but never find. No, it wouldn’t come until July, but at least it’s TP.

In AARP member fashion, I’d forgotten I’d ordered it by July, so I when I ripped into the package, I laughed at my bad memory, but also at the site: the case had 24 rolls, but the rolls had only about a third of the amount of paper we’re used to seeing. Not that I received the end of rolls others had used; the rolls were uniformly and equally short on paper.

Then I checked the package: It came from China. I thought maybe that’s just how they make TP in China, but a little research revealed many across the country also ordered Chinese TP out of concern about the future and also received what they’re calling “mini rolls.” which would have been priced reasonably if we had received full rolls.

This is how China makes buying toilet paper unpredictable.

(606) 326-2661 |


Recommended for you