Empty shelves in the toilet paper aisle of an Atlantic Superstore supermarket of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, on 12 March 20
Empty shelves in the toilet paper aisle of an Atlantic Superstore supermarket of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, on 12 March 2020. Photo: Wikimedia

The Psychology Behind Panic Stockpiling

As the COVID-19 outbreak spurs mass buying, people are flocking stores for toilet paper, but why?

Orge Castellano
5 min readMar 17, 2020

Last Saturday afternoon, Lucia, a 27-year-old marketing consultant, decided to head to her nearest shop in Madrid, Spain, to pick up some routine food supplies. What started as a quick errand turned into a four-hour nightmare…

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