Listen, we get it. These are scary times.
Over the course of last week, Minnesota saw its first handful of confirmed coronavirus cases, Gov. Tim Walz dedicated some $21 million to tackling the virus, St. Patrick’s Day was canceled in both cities, and the phrase “self quarantine and chill” entered day to day parlance.
It's stressful, and we're not here to judge the way you're preparing.
Except maybe this way.
Jesus Christ from r/minnesota
Yup—that’s a pickup truck loaded with two pallets of toilet paper, still shrink wrapped and everything. It popped up on Minnesota’s Reddit community at the end of last week, under the fitting title, “Jesus Christ.” Speculation suggests it was photographed in Sauk Rapids.
Commenters were quick to call the driver an “opportunist asshat” or a “fucking dipshit” trying to hoard half the state’s toilet paper in the middle of a literal pandemic.
“Fuck this person,” one surmised.
In all fairness, maybe this truck’s going to a shelter, or about to supply... several blocks' worth of neighbors. For a while. Or the post title is a proper name, the driver really is “Jesus Christ,” and he’s about to miracle-turn those two pallets into enough TP to wipe every ass in the state.
Reddit's reaction probably wouldn’t have been so extreme if we didn’t also live in a world where people keep asking which Target still has hand sanitizer and posting apocalyptic-looking photos of empty supermarket shelves. Using bizarre retail items as makeshift toilet paper has become its own meme.
I don’t know why people are freaking out about toilet paper. This store still has tons of it for sale. pic.twitter.com/pSfnyyHyHz— Ghetto Kirk Cousins (@ghettokirk) March 12, 2020
hey i found some toilet paper!!!! pic.twitter.com/6EvbUYpoCy— Mason Mennenga (@masonmennenga) March 13, 2020
Going to dress up as the last package of toilet paper left in Costco, maybe then a man will want me.— Thermostat (@Kthurmz) March 12, 2020
The Minnesota Department of Health recently advised residents to “gradually build up at-home supplies of non-perishable foods” and refill prescriptions. Meanwhile, on Thursday, a Centers for Disease Control official told Congress that there was no need for healthy Americans to start stockpiling. (If you're really trying to work out the math on how much toilet paper you'll need for however long your hibernation will be, this new VICE article goes on for a very long time about it.)
“When there’s an absence of a good, strong, and reassuring official voice, people will get more upset and start doing this magical thinking,” New York University epidemiology professor Robyn Gershon told Reuters last week.
As in, "Maybe I can't prevent the spread of coronavirus, but I can buy enough toilet paper to last until we all die from clilmate change instead."
Now might be the time to show a little restraint, especially if you are young, healthy, and less likely to be adversely affected by coronavirus. Maybe buy 12 rolls instead of 120, and make sure your sick or elderly neighbor has enough, too.
And, as always, wash your hands, stay home when sick, and check your information with the CDC and WHO. If you want an up-to-date look at what the virus is doing worldwide, check out this handy dashboard from Johns Hopkins.