On Russian-language FB, people are befuddled.
“Why toilet paper???” they ask. “Why are Americans buying off all the toilet paper? This must be something cultural. Or maybe they have a secret method of fighting the virus that involves toilet paper? The bastards! Give it to them not to share it with the world!”
This goes on for days.
Finally, one woman clocks on to the real reason.
“Guys!!!” she writes. “I think I figured it out! Americans are buying so much toilet paper because they really, honestly don’t know what to do when there is a shortage of toilet paper!”
“Wow,” everybody says. “That’s so bizarre. Surely, that can’t be true.”
But confirmations kept coming in until finally one kind soul created a helpful aid for Americans. I now share it with you.
Many Russians do not understand: “Why toilet paper???” I also did not understand, even tried to google it. Then my western colleague said: “Imagine, you are in a toilet, but there is no paper!” I gave him a blank look. Then slowly a realisation began to appear in my head. Some westerners really do not know what to do in this situation. Apparently there are very few westerners left who had experienced total absence of toilet paper in their life. I am not a westerner, so I have experienced it a lot. Here is a list of good substitutes: napkins, paper towels, face tissue, wet napkins (all are obvious), newspaper (God created them for toilets, not for reading), just make sure you toss and jam them to soften, cheap pulp fiction (Devil created them for toilets, not for reading), a bottle of water with soap and a towel, shower, washcloth that can be washed after and (my favorite:)) coffee filters! Not so good, but also works: tree or grass leaves, especially with velvety surface.
With regards to food: since virus does not mean power and gas outages (yet), so any prolonged storage food works in quarantine: potato, carrots, beets, onions, apples, frozen protein of any kind, frozen milk (yes!!!), raw eggs in shells (for Russians: in US you can buy eggs boiled and peeled, also raw eggs or just whites or yolks in a container, like milk), frozen bread (yes!!! bake in a closed casserole to unfreeze), frozen fruits and vegetables.
I’m glad it’s been explained because I couldn’t figure it out either.