Why the rush on toilet paper? One economist believes he knows

Coronavirus

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — While many people understand the rush on hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and bottled water in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, the one product flying off the shelves that have people puzzled?

Toilet paper.

Across the country, the isles where toilet paper is kept are bare.

“I really needed toilet paper, I don’t have much left,” said Cinita Brothers, a Hampton, VA resident, who came out empty-handed from a Kroger store.

Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a respiratory infection and none of the symptoms match up with any issue toilet paper is used to deal with.

However, Dr. Jay Zagorsky, Senior Lecturer at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, points to “Zero Risk Bias” as the reason.

“Zero Risk Bias (is when) people prefer to try to eliminate one type of possibly superficial risk entirely rather than do something that would reduce their total risk by a greater amount,” Zagorsky wrote for the online publication The Conversation.

“Hoarding also makes people feel secure. This is especially relevant when the world is faced with a novel disease over which all of us have little or no control. However, we can control things like having enough toilet paper in case we are quarantined.”

While supplies are limited, many stores have limited the amount of toilet paper people can purchase.

WISCONSIN CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

WFRV COVID-19 Coverage | Confirmed cases in Wisconsin
Tracking coronavirus | Local health experts talk coronavirus
Stimulus check calculator| Local businesses hiring during outbreak

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss

Coronavirus News

More Coronavirus

Trending Stories

Your Local Election HQ

More Election

Local Sports

Xavier, Wrightstown, Lourdes Academy & NEW Lutheran punch tickets to state

Papermakers get over the hump, head to state

Notre Dame claims fourth state title in program history

Mishicot wins first state title in school history

Mishicot looks to capture state title in La Crosse

Howards Grove girls look to finish strong at state