- Quote: ‘If we had an international sign for panic – it would be a traffic warning sign with a toilet roll in the middle’
By Andrew Atkinson
The coronavirus outbreak has led to many people throughout the world stockpiling toilet rolls, taking the phrase BOGOF to a whole new meaning!
Now a customer in Australia, who purchased almost 5,000 toilet rolls at a supermarket has been told to Bog off! – after they wanted to return their stack.
The customer’s big shop included 150 litres of sanitizer and 4,800 toilet rolls – in a panic buying frenzy.
Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos an expert in consumer and behavioural science says there’s a difference – between disaster panic and general panic – with toilet paper becoming a symbol of ‘general panic’.
Disaster panic is normally for something you have more information on, such as a natural disaster: “You know it is going to happen, you usually know it will last a couple days and can prepare, by being somewhat rational with what you buy.
“In public health issues we have no idea about the time, or intensity, and we get messages on a daily basis that we should go into panic mode – we buy into more than we need to. It’s our only tool of control.
“Due to toilet rolls having a longer shelf life, than many food items, prominently featured in aisles and is big in size, we are psychologically drawn to purchasing it, in times of crisis. The bigger they are, the more important we think they are.
“If we had an international sign for panic – it would be a traffic warning sign with a toilet roll in the middle,” said Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos.