Fear of Missing Out (FoMO)… the Toilet Paper War

Last Thursday tension over toilet rolls hit an extreme situation in Melbourne when police were called to a supermarket to taser a man involved in a violent confrontation over a pack of toilet rolls.

On the evening TV news last night there was video of an all-in brawl where three women in Sydney were fighting as if their lives depended on the outcome. It was all over a pack of toilet rolls. A mother in her 60s and daughter in her 20s were shopping together and were purchasing what appeared to be the last 4 packs of toilet paper the supermarket had left in the store. A third women approached them and asked could she have one pack. The answer NO started World War 3!

Dr Karl Albrecht, a stress-reduction specialist says there are four common types of stress…

  • Time stress
  • Anticipatory stress
  • Situational  stress
  • Encounter stress

All four of these types of stress are currently playing out in the community around toilet rolls.

The perfect storm of fear, misinformation, media hype and herd mentality has hit the Australian population and many people have gone into a state of distress. The fear of experiencing adversity if there is a full-on coronavirus outbreak and the population is in lock down which leads to forced self-isolation, has compounded the state of distress for some people. The thought of running out of toilet rolls for some people is just too stressful.

Dr Michael Callaghan a Deakin University Marketing expert was quoted… “it all comes down to our brain. All you need to do is whisper that something is going to get scarce. The subconscious reaction, I must get some even if I don’t need it, as it will become scarce.”

Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) and the toilet paper war begins.

A social service worker warns that the sudden spike of doomsday preppers bulk-buying toilet paper and cheap food items and causing shortages means low-income workers and pensioners who live day to day or week to week are missing out as they have no extra money to stockpile. Both groups are now stressed, and some members of these groups are in a state of distress.

It is reported that Google searches in Australia this week for bidets have soared some 350%.

A post I saw this evening from a group called… “The Team at Who Gives a Crap” offered some great advice for a time like this.

  • Just breathe
  • Slow down
  • Watch some puppy or cat videos
  • Relax

Would you like to learn about other stress management tools? Here are two natural stress reduction tools that really work.

Try the tools

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