As the global impacts of COVID -19 continue to be growing concern, hygiene and sanitary supplies are becoming scarce.

In the last week, there have been 14 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Alberta, but even before there were any confirmed or probable cases here, you would be hard-pressed to find a face mask or hand sanitizer on any store shelves across the province. Now toilet paper seems to be an even hotter commodity.

Photos of store shelves have been surfacing across social media, and where these items were once displayed are now completely bare. 

Videos have surfaced too, showing hoards of people ploughing their way through stores to completely fill up their carts with overflowing jumbo packs of toilet paper rolls.

So why the panic purchasing?

It is believed that the fears associated with the coronavirus have created a sense of urgency for people to stock up on essentials, and in particular sanitary items.

With the possibility of having to be isolated for two weeks, it's a good idea to be prepared, however, Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says that stockpiling bathroom tissue is not only unnecessary but going too far. 

Hinshaw says “I think people are seeing what’s happening in other countries and maybe getting worried and then starting to go out and buy large amounts of things.” 

She goes on to say “That behaviour in some ways creates the problem that they were afraid of. So it reinforces that vicious cycle.”