The toilet paper shortage is causing real anxiety and adding to the chances of additional sickness and death. People – some of whom are already sick whether they know it or not – who don’t find products online or the first store they visit are forced to go out again and again in search of supplies.
Luckily, this is not just a hoarding problem. People who would normally be at work or school or out having fun are home. Much more consumer product than ever before is being used, while commercial toilet paper is not. The product, supplies and distribution chains are different. White papers planning for the disaster will surely follow, but in the meantime let me suggest a temporary fix:
IF YOU OWN OR MANAGE an office building, or theaters, or mall – any businesses that is not using your commercial TP and soap – would you consider giving or lending your supply?
How? That depends on where you are. Local food pantries or the Red Cross or churches and temples and mosques, or grocery stores or restaurants open for take-out and delivery have distribution mechanisms.
In White Plains, the shelves of Target, Walgreens and CVS stores as well as smaller groceries empty as soon as TP or soap comes in.
IF YOU OWN OR MANAGE A STORE THAT IS OPEN, can you get commercial TP to sell? Yes, it isn’t labeled or packaged for separate sale, but if needed and asked, wouldn’t plenty of businesses volunteer to break pallets or containers of commercial TP and soap down for individual sale or giving?
Once this is tried and found to work anywhere, it could immediately be replicated around the country.
PS: If you have unused manufacturing capacity, please check out this site to see if there are other ways to help: https://www.projectn95.org/.
Seth Kaller is the founder of Seth Kaller Inc. Historic Documents and Legacy Collections in White Plains.