Follow Us:
Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Toilet paper to condoms, unusual things people are stockpiling globally due to the coronavirus

The coronavirus outbreak has triggered fear among people leading to a consumer behaviour shift. Buyers are "panic buying" and stockpiling essentials as the infectious virus continues to spread around the world.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | Updated: March 5, 2020 6:15:35 pm
Coronavirus, people buying toilet paper, toilet paper, A similar situation has been observed in China, where thousands of people have been forced to stay indoors due to the virus. (Source:

The spread of the novel coronavirus – that has killed over 3,000 globally – has sparked concerns across nations but has also prompted people across the world to start stockpiling on certain items. These include items like hand sanitizers and face masks that help in preventing the spread of the virus, to unusual items like toilet paper and condoms.

Toilet paper buying

As fears rose over the spread of the virus in Australia, there was “panic buying” of toilet paper. BBC reported a sudden surge in the purchase of toilet paper forcing some supermarket chains in Sydney to implement a four-pack buying limit.  One person reportedly has to be tasered to break up a fight.

The panic buying comes despite Australia manufacturing its own toilet paper and having sufficient reserves of rolls.

The panic buying and queues were documented by several pictures of people stockpiling essentials are being shared on social media using hashtags such as #toiletpapergate and #toiletpapercrisis.

Australia isn’t even the first nation to see such panic buying of toilet paper. Fearing shortages similar panic buying was seen in Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong. There’s also been a surge in the sale of rolls in the US as the number of cases rise.


According to a report in The Sun, there has been a spike in the sale of home entertainment kits such as video games and yoga mats. But there’s also been a spike in condom sales.

An unverified picture of an empty shelf displaying contraceptives was posted on Facebook page Ryde District Mums by a Sydney resident Thanh Thai along with a caption, “Can anybody please tell me what happened?” reported The Daily Mail.

According to the news website, the surge in the sale of condom packets began after a viral post encouraged people to use them on their fingers to avoid getting infected by the coronavirus.

Baking and roasting equipment

While Chinese e-commerce sites Pinduoduo observed that the hair cutting kits and condoms were their most popular items, another website noted a surge in the sales of their baking and roasting equipment, Reuters reported.

What health officials are saying

Following the virus outbreak, there have been several guidelines issued by health agencies advising people to practice good hygiene to prevent the virus from spreading including regularly washing hands, wearing masks and using hand sanitizers. However, masks should be used only by those infected, those suspected to be infected or those providing medical assistance to people. (Here’s all you need to know)

The sudden surge in demand for has also resulted in shortages and hiked prices.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Trending News, download Indian Express App.