Runs on Toilet Paper / Corridas de Papel Higiénico

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

OUR FRIEND CHRISTINE wrote from England to find out how the coronavirus has affected us here in Fuengirola and to tell me what’s been going on in her area. Thursday, the City of Fuengirola announced the very rational precautions it was taking to slow the spread of the virus: Office hours have been shortened with more services to be available online; weekly public markets have been cancelled; libraries are closed, as are sports complexes and events.

Before the announcement, people here were extremely rational. Restaurants and bars, and the streets, were more quiet than usual. Hand sanitizer was sold out. But that was really all we noticed.

But Friday, San Geraldo went to the supermarket. There was no bottled water. And no rice. No tuna or cottage cheese. As a matter of fact, no cheese at all. Even the meat section was completely decimated. And, of course, the shelves had been stripped of toilet paper.

San Geraldo went a few hours later to our other large neighborhood supermarket and he was pleased to discover that it didn’t look like the end of days. It was civilized. Shoppers didn’t seem desperate and he was able to get things we actually needed. Later in the day, sadly, the Spanish government declared a 15-day “state of alarm.”

I’ve seen images from all over the world of people loaded down with toilet paper and I haven’t been able to comprehend why one person would have an immediate need for six dozen rolls. Diarrhea is not a symptom of COVID-19, is it?

The reason for the “run” on toilet paper became clear to me, however, when Christine told me her supermarket is also completely out of baked beans. What are they thinking?!?

For now, just look at Moose and some of the other robust life around our apartment.


NUESTRA AMIGA CHRISTINE escribió desde Inglaterra para descubrir cómo nos ha afectado el coronavirus aquí en Fuengirola y para contarme lo que ha estado sucediendo en su área. El jueves, la ciudad de Fuengirola anunció las precauciones muy racionales que estaba tomando para frenar la propagación del virus: Se redujeron las horas de oficina con más servicios disponibles en línea; los mercados públicos semanales han sido cancelados; las bibliotecas están cerradas, al igual que los complejos deportivos y los eventos.

Antes del anuncio, la gente aquí era extremadamente racional. Los restaurantes y bares, y las calles, estaban más tranquilos que de costumbre. El desinfectante de manos se agotó. Pero eso fue realmente todo lo que notamos.

Pero, el viernes, San Geraldo fue al supermercado. No había agua embotellada. Y sin arroz. Sin atún o requesón. De hecho, no hay queso en absoluto. Incluso la sección de carne fue diezmada por completo. Y, por supuesto, los estantes habían sido despojados de papel higiénico.

San Geraldo fue unas horas más tarde a nuestro otro gran supermercado del bario y se alegró de descubrir que no parecía el final de los días. Fue civilizado. Los compradores no parecían desesperados y pudo obtener las cosas que realmente necesitábamos. Más tarde en el día, lamentablemente, el gobierno español declaró un “estado de alarma” de 15 días.

He visto imágenes de personas de todo el mundo cargadas con papel higiénico y no he podido comprender por qué una persona tendría una necesidad inmediata de seis docenas de rollos. La diarrea no es un síntoma de COVID-19, ¿verdad?

Sin embargo, la razón de la “carrera” en el papel higiénico se hizo evidente para mí cuando Christine me dijo que su supermercado también estaba completamente sin frijoles horneados. ¿Qué están pensando?

Por ahora, solo mire a Moose y algunas de las otras vidas robustas alrededor de nuestro apartamento.

I took this photo of the Cyclindrical African Spear last night so you could appreciate the sweet fragrance. Inhale.
Anoche hice esta foto de la lanza africana cilíndrica para que pudieras apreciar la dulce fragancia. Inhale.
How many cans of baked beans?!? Do we have enough kitty litter?!?
“¿¡¿Cuántas latas de frijoles horneados?!? ¿¡¿Tenemos suficiente arena para gatos?!?

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

41 thoughts on “Runs on Toilet Paper / Corridas de Papel Higiénico”

  1. meow, meow
    as we live this surreal life that has descended upon us at warp speed
    Hugs to you both

    1. Ron,
      Hugs back to you. At your suggestion, I DID manage to get new close-up photos of the Tamarind blossoms and will share them in the coming days!

  2. Good that SG eventually got what you guys needed. We are self-isolating as well for the next 2 weeks……stocked up with all the essentials yesterday. Some shelves were bare.
    Those photos make it all look as though things are moving along as usual. Your view is spectacular. And so is Moose!!
    Take care.

    1. Jim:
      The lock-down has begun. Very, very eerie. But I’m pleased powerful action is being taken. Hope all goes well and quickly!

  3. Here in Australia we have been having The Great Toilet Paper StockUp of 2020 for a good couple of weeks now. There have been fights over the toilet paper, someone got tasered by the police over toilet paper. It is being stolen from public toilets.

    I have to say to go into the store and see such a large area of empty space was deeply shocking to me, it did make me want to buy every roll I could get my hands on, but sanity prevailed and I just got what we needed when I saw it, which wasn’t a lot to be fair. We don’t use much here.

    I am concerned about this virus for sure, but nothing I have seen or read has suggested I am going to need a toilet paper fortress of solitude.

    I did go to the chemist yesterday and stock up on paracetamol and various cold and flu type items. While I was there my friendly favourite chemist ran through a bit of a checklist with me, eg, you got vitamins (yes) you got electrolytes (no, I went and got some) and they did not have any toilet paper in the store at all.

    Because we Aussies tend to make fun of things, I asked him if he was stockpiling it out the back just for himself or his favourite customers, he laughed and said no, but then proceeded to give me a verbal list of places I could try if we were out.

    One of them was the local cash and carry. I was there a few days earlier and I saw that they had what I call the God Roll, one of those big huge ones that goes on the wall into that special holder.

    In the process of trying to find the real name for that kind of roll I googled, and now I have learned.. don’t google toilet paper if you live in Australia, every second photo has a huge spider on the roll!

    I am worried about getting supplies, it is time for our usual fortnightly shop this week and I am hearing the supermarket was virtually empty – not just the toilet paper section now. Folks be cray.

    Anyway, these are troubling times for sure. Fingers crossed we all survive it. 🙂

    1. Snosred:
      Yep, folks be cray! And it’s amazing how easily the panic spreads. SG bought hot dogs at the first supermarket. He never buys hot dogs. He said when there was no other meat he just had to! We’re glad we have toilet paper in the house!

  4. I love your African Spears and the prickly ball cactuses. Baked beans, huh? That does go a long way in explaining the toilet paper obsession 🙂 My cruising buddy sister sent me a picture of herself holding a bottle of wine, a hunk of cheese and a humongous chocolate bar. She said she was ready for the zombie apocalypse. Not a roll of toilet paper in sight, though. That girl’s got her priorities straight! Always a pleasure seeing Moose and/or Dudo. They make me smile every time .

    1. Deedles:
      More home plant photos to come. One of our large, weird cacti looks like it’s got a couple of buds! Chocolate bars! That’s all I need for the apocalypse. Well, that and maybe drugs! Dudo is on my lap purring away right now. Life is good (here at least).

  5. I don’t get the toilet paper panic…maybe it was started by the paper industry? Or bottled water? Will municipal water stop flowing from the home faucet? Our president continues to be a total embarrassment and eminently incompetent…but you can read about such things elsewhere. I worry for you and Geraldo if the restaurants close…what ever will you do or blog about?

      1. Jennifer:
        Thanks for getting and appreciating my sense of humor. I think many miss my play with words.

    1. Frank:
      We’ve said the same about the bottled water. People are getting ready for the apocalypse. And, yes, the restaurants are closed. THAT could be the biggest adjustment for us. We’ve already gone two days without our morning coffee out. Many take-out restaurants are allowed to stay open. Others are offering only take-away food. But, we’re lucky that so far that’s all we have to be concerned about. Thinking about all the others out there not so fortunate. Hoping we make it through staying healthy!

    1. Mistress Maddie:
      My point exactly. Idiotic. And it’s unlikely any Spaniards bought the baked beans. Definitely not a Spanish dish (another reason I like it here).

  6. You know, I blame stores and the supermarket chains for this craziness. They should have immediately placed purchase restrictions on toilet paper, hand sanitizer and wipes, etc. You know, like “2 per customer per visit” or something like that. It would give everyone a fighting chance to purchase some, instead of a few people hogging it all to themselves.

      1. anne marie:
        So ridiculous. Debra is right. The stores should have thought to limit quantities.

    1. Debra:
      I agree. I don’t understand why these shops didn’t quickly put rational limits on these products. I hope they’ve now come to their senses.

  7. Unfortunately, they’re saying that diarrhea can be one of the symptoms for COVID-19, so there’s that to look forward to. My friend just sent me a photo of a supermarket where there are stacks of cases of beer. In place of one case there’s a six roll package of toilet paper. The caption of the photo says “Decision made.” 🙂

    1. TexasTrailerParkTrash:
      Oh, shit… regarding the diarrhea. I wonder if we have enough toilet paper! That photo you mention is priceless!

  8. We had toilet paper in the store today–we didn’t need it, didn’t buy it–but hand sanitizers were gone–we didn’t need those–but everything else seemed available.

    1. Bob:
      Wow! Apparently still no toilet paper or hand sanitizer to be found here. I hope they’re able to restock and limit quantities sold.

  9. We are not in total lockdown but I can see that coming as our Prime Minister is in self isolation and his wife has Covid. We are not going to Mexico. Trying to change the flights but can’t get through (well got through after 3.5 hrs then was disconnected). Took Mom to stock up on groceries on Wednesday but now I will only bring them to her as she is in the high risk category (High BP, diabetes and 77). We are in good shape but lost 2 contracts and a 3rd is iffy. Self employment is difficult in good times let alone times like these. We have everything paid off and lots of assets and can take care of our kids financially if need be. A good time to enjoy the company of your spouse and get out in the fresh air for walks. We are going to the ocean tomorrow which is our happy place although it is a little cold here still (hovering around zero celcius at night and 7 or 8 during the day, colder by ocean). I have a case of wine and hubby is bottling his red wine today so with a little more chocolate and some perogies we are good to go!

    1. Cheapchick:
      So sorry about the travel plans headaches and, especially, the business woes. Beyond the health issues for people, I worry about those who are out of work (and pay) for the duration. Chocolate and perogies (although not together) sound so good right now. SG said his next grocery shop will include a nice supply of chocolate. Fortunately, our neighbors had given us a box of Lindt truffles to hold us over!

  10. Hmmm…. run… toilet paper … very cunning sir, very cunning. It appears that the toilet paper nonsense started in Japan. There was a “statement” on some internet site that the paper in face masks was identical to that of most toilet papers so when face masks ran out people were buying it to make their own versions. Then like most things on the internet it took on a life of it’s own. Of course even that report could be urban internet myth!!!! Stay safe!

    1. Willym:
      Yeah, I find that Japanese origin story regarding the toilet paper to be quite a stretch of credibility. I think people are simply stocking up so they can still follow the American tradition of TPing their friends’ front yards.

  11. I requested permission to work from home for a couple of weeks. Delta has confirmed our flights and shows them on time.

    1. David:
      Wishing you safe and easy travels. Be glad you’re not trying to fly to Spain. Two Jet2 flights yesterday turned around mid-air and went back to Birmingham! Nuts.

  12. moose, your cousins nyla/gigi/oreo just got fresh cat litter last night. and treats and cat food too!

    the hype surrounding this virus is 90% bullshit (IMHO). whatever will you and SG do without meson salvadore? PS – how are pedro & kathleen and the kids doing?

    1. anne marie:
      Sadly, there’s lots of misinformation going around. Spanish news sites have done a better job I think of avoiding the hype and the bullshit. And it is as serious as it sounds. SG and I are already going through withdrawal from Mesón Salvador and Primavera. But that should be the worst of our problems. Pedro and Kathleen are trying to come up with any activity to keep Luke occupied. They’re both really creative but I’m sure it will wear on them to not be able to leave the house. Luke is the best, but he IS only 4! Beckett simply laughs at whatever Luke does. So if they keep Luke happy, they keep Becket happy.

  13. Wow, what an amazing view you have! I love your plants, too. I’ve never heard of a cylindrical African spear, but it looks related to sanseveria (“Mother-in-law’s tongue”). Those aloes are HUGE.

    I don’t get the TP hysteria at all. Fortunately I think we’re covered here because Dave always keeps a healthy supply at hand.

    1. Steve:
      You’re right about the cylindrical African spear being a sanseveria. The Mother-in-Law’s tongue is also known as African Spear. The plant is huge. I’ll share a photo soon. And it blooms for us every year. Flowers are similar to the plant you know and possibly even more fragrant. Yeah, those aloes ARE huge… and they need to be culled a bit. With such a long growing season some of the usually slow growers have taken over our terrace and hall. We’ve cut down our three yuccas on the terrace several times. They keep hitting the ceiling. And we’ve got a tower-type cactus that was not as high as my knees about 6 years ago. It’s slow growing… and is now 7-1/2 feet tall! We, too, keep a healthy supply of toilet paper (although not 48 rolls), so we’re OK for now.

  14. Holy frijoles, Batman! We’ve both been to the store in the past week. All normal, nothing out of stock (except hand sanitizer, which I didn’t know they had anyway), people seemed calm. We’re having soupe à l’oignon gratinée for lunch. The toilet paper supply should hold out.

    1. Walt the Fourth:
      Ooh, send us all the cases of toilet paper you can find. We can make a fortune. Oh, never mind. We’re not in the US.

  15. We always have Ramen, Soup, Rice, Tuna, Frozen Veggies, Flat Bread, Cheese stocked. Just a few more of this and that and we are good. I alway have these items on hand in case I get sick.
    I am pretty much house bound but now it is even more. I have several autoimmune problems already that have to be controlled. So no going out anywhere for me other than a car ride. I am 74, with underlying health problems… I have had pneumonia 4 times already so prognosis is not great . I already wash my hands, clean the phone, I take my shoes off and put on slippers (Japanese), wipe steering wheel. I wash all fruit and veggies before eating. I have done this for so many years it is normal. I never go to the big crowded shopping areas, I miss Baseball, the Theater and movies but that is what it is. My Life is Good I am happy !
    You both keep well !

  16. New reader here from the USA. Wow, it’s definitely looking like this where I live as well. No toilet paper to be found. The stores are starting to look bare. Your kitty is beautiful, as are your plants!

    1. Mandy:
      Hi and welcome. So glad to meet you and hope you visit often. We’re hoping the shops settle down now that lockdown is in place… and there’s nothing left to buy! Maybe they’ll restock and limit quantities. I’ll introduce you to Moose’s (the cat) brother, Dudo, very soon.

    1. Urspo:
      He gets sweeter with each passing day. I’m glad he helps you, too. Stay well!

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