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  • Writer's pictureElliot K

Goodbye, 3-Ply

Excuse my French, but bloody hell.

Where has all the loo roll gone?

Covid-19, as far as I am aware, does not make you repeatedly defecate yourself. Not in most cases, at least. Why was toilet paper the first thing to go? Why are people using it in TikToks?

The world, it appears, is suffering from a bit of a crisis. Long story short, someone caught SARS from either a bat or a pangolin (or possibly neither of those animals, depending on which papers you read) and now all the pubs are closed.

The reaction in Western Europe was, at first, rather subdued. It was only once Italy placed 16 million people under quarantine that a few brows started to furrow.

And now? Now... we're here.


In much the same way that my schedule last summer was dictated by Love Island, Boris Johnson's press conferences in this time of utter confusion have formed an anchor for my daily routine.

Wake up. Make a cup of tea. Set up my workstation. Write fifty words. Candy Crush. Lunch. More Candy Crush. Lose motivation. Turn on TV as "it's almost five o'clock" (it's quarter past four). Watch BoJo read a speech he clearly didn't write. Check Twitter. Dinner. Telly. Bed.

Rinse and repeat.

The worst part is it's only been a week. But a week spent in the same four rooms in a terraced house in Birmingham is, unsurprisingly, very boring.

I, like many others, have found solace in various corners of the internet. When not staring out of my living room window (top), the likes of Nick Heath's #LifeCommentary, The Golden Ratio, and Steve Martin's soothing banjo have provided me with many an hour of entertainment.

I miss the outside, though.


Empty bakery aisle in supermarket

Compared to most, my complaints aren't hugely justified. I could be working on the front-line in the NHS, treating the most severe Covid-19 cases. I could have been made redundant when my workplace was forced to close. Worse still, I could be working long shifts at one of the few supermarkets still open, dealing with shoppers overwhelmed by a previously-unseen level of ubiquitous idiocy. I hope it's not contagious.

A visit to one such supermarket in Small Heath on Thursday confirmed my fears that Birmingham had become an epicenter of hysteria. Most shelves were bare. The fresh produce section was empty, as was the bakery aisle. One customer asked if they had any more milk. The store attendant chuckled and shook his head.

That's not to say there was nothing left. Myself and my housemates were able to buy a small quantity of necessities each, though the cost was substantially greater than normal - the only products left in many cases were, understandably, the most expensive variant of said product. Perhaps sometime next week I'll join the daily hoard that descends upon my local Sainsbury's at the crack of dawn. I might be able to nab myself a tiger bloomer.

For now, we shall all have to make do, and hope that the panic-buying dwindles. For those who are finding social distancing to be a bit of a bore, don't forget that outdoor excursions are permitted, so long as you give others a wide berth.

A short run yesterday evening was enough to help temporarily clear my head, though it was disheartening to see how many were still wandering the streets in gaggles, searching for somewhere to stand and publicly reinforce the 'British alcoholic' stereotype. Maybe next time I'll tell them to install Candy Crush as I jog past. That'll do the trick.


Lastly, a quick reminder of a few good sources and articles to read, should you want to keep yourself informed about best hand-washing practice, whether you should leave your house, and what this sodding virus is all about anyway.

Stay home. Stay safe. Stop playing keepie uppie with bog roll.

Milk in the spirits section
Hidden in plain sight.


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