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Driving by Costco yesterday, cart after cart in the parking lot was filled with months worth of toilet paper. You hear about stores running out of toilet paper, and you start to ask yourself… do I have enough? What would happen if I didn’t?

All of a sudden, you are transported to that moment where you’re caught alone without a “spare square”. Not even one measly ply. For reference:

If you adopt the same attitude, you might be safe for a month, but you contribute to the hysteria and the cycle gets worse. I’m clearly not the only one thinking about this.

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The thought then is that if we don’t have enough for x period of time, we feel the pain of being without now. I think that is the definition of anxiety — feeling the pain about something that hasn’t occurred yet. Hoarding reduces the anxiety, or at least postpones it. It does so at some cost — space, money, and social wellness. It also loses its efficacy over time. When the anxiety returns, you have to get more. Soon, you’re living in a fallout shelter in Kansas.

If we all have three days worth of anything really critical, it should be enough of a balance. Of course, where you live, the chance of natural disasters (tornado, hurricane, earthquake), and the closest stores, might mean adding a few more days of supply. And toilet paper… it doesn’t provide much nutrition.

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