The fear over the coronavirus is leading to a widespread toilet paper shortage as big box shops and grocery stores struggle to keep up with demand.
Even on Amazon, most of the most popular brands are either out of stock or backordered.
Mike Huckabee didn’t wait long to react on the phenomena with a hilarious dig a the NY Times. He took to Twitter and said: “If this toilet paper shortage continues I might be forced to subscribe to home delivery of The NY Times!”
CNBC reported that panic buying has been rife amid the global spread of the new coronavirus, with consumers around the world stockpiling goods like hand sanitizer, canned foods and toilet paper.
The trend has seen stores ration products, with U.K. retailers limiting sales of hand hygiene products while Australian shoppers have seen restrictions on the amount of toilet paper they can buy.
Psychologists spoke to CNBC to weigh in on why our brains push us to panic buy — even when authorities are assuring the public there’s no need to.
According to Paul Marsden, a consumer psychologist at the University of the Arts London, the short answer can be found in the psychology of “retail therapy” — where we buy to manage our emotional state.
“It’s about ‘taking back control’ in a world where you feel out of control,” he said. “More generally, panic buying can be understood as playing to our three fundamental psychology needs.”