CHESTERVILLE — The first stirrings of a consumer run on toilet paper and bathroom tissue has been noticed at Mike Dean’s, as the implications of an advancing COVID-19 global outbreak begin to be felt even in the check-out lines of small-town Eastern Ontario.
Mike Dean’s Super Food Stores President Gordon Dean says the three-outlet chain is selling one and a half times the normal volume of “bathroom tissue, along with disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers.”
The surge in demand for such items is happening around North America as individuals speculate on the possibility of being quarantined in their homes at some point in the future, should they contract the contagious respiratory virus that emerged in China late last year. Just over 118,000 people have come down with the sickness globally to date (March 10), including 79 in Canada and 805 in the U.S. (So far, the number of infected North Americans appears to be doubling every six to seven days.) In hard-hit Italy, the entire country has been put into lockdown.
Morrisburg Giant Tiger owner Brad Parks says he hasn’t seen an uptick in toilet paper sales just yet. “Not right now, we’re not, but I imagine we will,” he says. “People are talking about it, so imagine there will be a run on it.”
The World Health Organization estimates the COVID-19 fatality rate at 3.4 percent (compared with regular seasonal flu’s rate of 0.1 percent.)