Amid an ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases, grocery stores have begun to limit the amount of toilet paper and disinfecting wipes once again. News reports say this new policy to prevent “hoarding.”
In the last few weeks, we have seen (firsthand in some cases) what happens when an unprepared public prepares all at once. The frenzied rush to grab as many supplies as possible created an unprecedented strain on our “just in time” food system. Basic supplies like water, pasta, bread, milk, meat and cleaning supplies were snatched up as soon as they were restocked. But this initial run on food is just the beginning.
Things are likely to get worse especially if there is any word of another potential lockdown. People will panic buy things once again wiping out entire sections of the grocery store. Luckily (or sadly) in my area, frozen foods are about the only things not in stock. There’s still plenty of fresh fruits, veggies, and canned foods…for now.
But as grocers reinstate these limits, they may understand that the food supply chain is once again breaking, and this time, it might get to the point of chaotic. Since the supply chain “remains challenged” from the first lockdown, stores began putting a limit of one on purchases of larger toilet paper and paper towel sizes and four on smaller toilet paper and paper towel sizes.
At least three companies say supply chains for securing these items are still strained. Around 19% of paper products such as toilet paper and paper towels and 16% of household cleaning products were out of stock during the week ending November 1, according to data from market research firm IRI.
In a previous article we wrote about what may happen if a two-week lockdown turns into a month or longer and given the fact that other countries around the world are shutting down, it seems as if another lockdown is very likely to happen in the United States soon.
If grocers are concerned about the people buying out the toilet paper, consider other options if you don’t have extra toilet paper stored.
It is possible to beat any shortages by bein prepared for them. The supply chains have been strained for months now, and it doesn’t look like any relief of that strain is comin any time soon.
One tip is to shop at local grocery stores. The big megastores are convenient, but as we have seen during the spring, they get bombarded quickly with panic buying. Shopping at your local supermarket may be a better bet. The smaller Mom and Pop stores may still have the items you need and can give you personalized responses and when they are restocking. Also, if you are looking for paper goods like toilet paper or paper towels or disinfectant, dish soap or cleaners consider going to your local Home Depot or Lowes store. They should have a less tapped supply.
Ordering online could help too. Hopefully you have what you need already though because even those items can sell out if the panic continues at an upward pace.
Because we can’t do a whole heck of a lot about the store limits, we should all have learned to slowly stock up over time and store a few extra items in case this very thing happens again.