We are facing a terrible threat: COVID-19, also known as coronavirus. People are responding in various ways all around the globe, looking for creative ways to prevent the disease from spreading. One behavior, however, seems to be in our very bones, regardless of nationality, culture, or age:
Everyone is hoarding toilet paper.
Whether you're in the US, the UK, or in Australia, whether it's Costco or Walmart, you will see empty shelves where the toilet paper should be. You can even be mugged over the last pack. If it's the apocalypse, it's much different than what was advertised.
Our toilet paper calculator comes to the rescue in this time of need. You're a few seconds away from learning how much toilet paper you really need in case of quarantine, and - in case you already went ahead and bought supplies for the whole family - how long your purchased toilet paper will last you.
Spoiler alert: you're probably overstocked. 🧻🧻🧻
How much toilet paper do I need?
Luckily, it's not difficult to estimate how much toilet paper you and your family needs. Our simple tool requires you to only input three numbers, from which it will calculate the number of rolls requried in the blink of an eye!
How many people are in your household? We assume every person uses, on average, the same amount of toilet paper. Don't include babies that still use nappies.
How many days will the quarantine last? In the United States, if you've had contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should self-quarantine for 14 days. If you plan to stock up for longer, input the corresponding number of days into the "Days" field.
Finally, how much paper does your family usually use? It is estimated that an average person needs 3-4 days to use up one roll of paper. If you have the sneaking suspicion that your children are using more than that, pick the 🧻🧻🧻 option (heavy use) - it corresponds to the average use in the US according to the infographic below. If, however, you have introduced in-house restrictions and actively limit your toilet paper usage, choose the 🧻 option (light use) - which corresponds to the average use in France.
That's it! Our calculator will multiply the number of people in the household by the average daily consumption of toilet paper and the number of days. The result is the number of rolls you need to buy.
Our toilet paper calculator will also suggest how many packs of toilet paper you need.
We will also tell you, how much water and wood is needed to produce this amount of toilet paper - according to Treehugger, production of one roll requires 37 gallons of water and 1.5 pounds of wood.
How long will my supply last?
What if you've already done your shopping? You're safe in your own house, ready to take on the 14-day quarantine. You can chill and listen to the Ballad of Dunny Roll on loop, knowing you won't run out of TP:
Fear not - even now, Omni Calculator comes to your aid! We will make a rough estimate of how long this supply will last you. All you need to do is provide the calculator with the following data:
Number of people in the household - again, don't include babies that are still using nappies.
Decide if your family uses excessive amounts of toilet paper, or if you're planning on saving it for more scarce times.
Input the number of toilet paper rolls that you've purchased. You can also input the number of packs instead.
That's it! Our calculator will tell you how long this supply will last you, and when you will need to repurchase toilet paper.
For example, let's say you live with your significant other, and you estimate your toilet paper use to be average. You just bought twelve 10-roll packs of toilet paper for the expected 14-day-long quarantine. Did you overstock?
According to our calculator, this supply will last you over seven months, so... yeah, it seems like it. Turns out, you needed just one pack for a period of fourteen days.
Why are people buying toilet paper?
The calculations above aren't too difficult - you don't need a doctoral degree to figure out how much 🧻 you really need. Why are people buying every sheet of toilet paper possible, then? What's the reason behind this behavior?
It all boils down to disinformation. It's extremely common to come across articles that predict the lockdowns of cities and the complete closing of shops for weeks. None of this news is actually true; the longest you should expect to stay at home without leaving is 14 days, and only if you are quarantined. While you should be stocking up for a few days to avoid going shopping day after day, there is no need to buy toilet paper or toothpaste for weeks or even months.
Many people are buying out toilet paper because they feel anxious about the future. We don't know what next week or month will bring, or what the development of the coronavirus outbreak will look like (We have some pretty strong predictions, though). Panic buying is a way to make ourselves feel at least a bit safer.
Remember, though: hoarding toilet paper won't stop the virus. The only thing excessive panic buying can give you is hateful looks from your neighbors. Instead of overstocking, try the proven ways to prevent the spread of the epidemic: stay at home, wash your hands frequently, and laugh at every toilet-paper-related meme on the Internet.
You know, like this one.