A Look Back at the Hoarders of 2020

Jean Walsh, Staff Writer

Back when the pandemic first started in the US in mid-March, people started “panic buying” a ton of supplies. Some of the most popular items were toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.

It was very common to walk into a store like Target, Walmart or BJ’s, even local supermarkets, and find a whole empty aisle where paper products were. I remember going to Target on March 13, the fateful day that school shutdown for “2 weeks”, and seeing the lucky few people who managed to get the last of the hand sanitizer and wipes, and I thought they were crazy.

Because of all of these panic shoppers, the supermarkets looked like the day before a snowstorm for a couple months. Production of products had slowed down significantly due to so many people being laid off. Companies like Amazon benefitted from these, as they knew that people desperately wanted these big tickets items, no matter the cost. They raised the prices of items like toilet paper, because they knew that people would buy it, and in the end they would be making millions.

The average American was taken advantage of in the early days of the pandemic, because no one wanted to leave their house and paying $60 for toilet paper from Amazon was fine.

To this day, stores have a hard time keeping paper and cleaning products on the shelves, mainly now because of production being slowed. It’s rare that you see people hoarding hand sanitizer now, as most people probably have enough to last them a while. However, it still is amazing to see a store that is fully stocked with these popular items, and who knows when shelves will be stocked all the time like they used to be.