The Real Virus Behind The Toilet Paper Apocalypse


I feel like the richest man in the world.


Last week we bought the gigantic pack of toilet paper that lasts us for months at Walmart and apparently this week ushered in the toilet paper apocalypse.

However I must admit for a split second I almost got wrapped up in the panic and I know a good majority of you did too. A text from a friend with a picture of the empty toilet paper shelves at our local superstore had my mind rushing.  I had to teach a class and could not squeeze in a visit to the grocery store to grab my stash and besides it seems like it was already too late. Earlier that morning I had seen something about empty shelves in Australia and it seems like the word was out and I missed the boat.

Oh how pervasive is FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out) in our current culture & how alarmingly quickly FOMO spreads and how irrational it can make us.

For all we know some very clever toilet paper marketing companies sat back and looked at the irrational media generated pandemonium surrounding the corona virus and thought – hmmmmm – how can we get in on this?

“Hey I know, grab your phones lets spread FOMO 14 times the speed of the actual virus making its tour around the world and cash in on the panic. All we have to do is capitalize on the fear and make people feel like they are missing out on something – that will ignite and spread like a wild fire.”

So they head on over to a few monster stores in their area and moved all the hoards of “more than enough” toilet paper off the shelves and starting taking pictures of the empty shelves and posting them on socials highlighted with the little scared screaming hands on it’s face emoji.

Why in an emergency would toilet paper be the item needed – we can all agree a confusing and completely irrational strategy in a “state of emergency” However people got in their cars, rushed to the stores, waited in lines, posted their pictures out of fear they were going to be left toilet paperless.

What is more pervasive, damaging, deceptive, and deadly than any virus will ever be? What lives around the corners of every minute, huddle in the motives of a good majority of our daily actions everyday?

FEAR.  It a massively powerful, irrational and often manipulated emotion & we can so easily and unconsciously turn the keys to that vehicle over to the daily headline.

So yeah let’s wash our hands “like we just finished cutting jalapeños and need to remove our contacts” but more importantly let’s examine the fear that can so mindlessly drive our daily decisions and actions. Fear can so easily make us a commodity to be sold and bought in our current culture and fear steals more lives right from under our noses every day of every year since the beginning of time. We are all guilty of being a carrier of fear. The empty toilet paper shelves are a evidence of a greater more pervasive killer that knows no borders.

“What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important”

Dwight D. Eisenhower.

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