When the coronavirus pandemic first hit the United States, anxious Americans stocked up on groceries to the point that there was a shortage on common household items like toilet paper.
A recent poll from Sports and Leisure Research Group, Engagious and ROKK Solutions found that a little over half of participants either have a stockpile of necessities or are planning to build one in fear of a spike in COVID-19 cases.
This week, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that rising coronavirus cases across the United States mean that the country is facing “a whole lot of trouble.” The nation’s top infectious disease expert noted that certain parts of the country, like the Midwest and the Northwest, are also seeing an increase in test-positivity rate, or the percentage of test that come back positive, which “is always a predictor of more cases.”
While most of the poll’s respondents pointed to COVID-19 as their prime motivator for grabbing a few more items the next time they hit the grocery store, a fraction of them said that they are concerned about the possibility of unrest related to next month’s election.
Supply-chain issues that caused shortages of items like flour at the beginning of the pandemic have mostly been resolved, and retailers have found creative solutions to work around demand.
In September there were reports of consumers spotting Mexican toilet paper brands Regio, Elite, Daisy Soft, and Vogue (which is chamomile-scented) in pharmacies and supermarkets from New York to California.
Supply chain experts say that because Americans use a lot more toilet paper than people in other countries, foreign-made toilet paper brands made their way to U.S. stores temporarily until American manufacturers could catch up to the demand.