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King: The great shortages of 2020 brought on by the coronavirus

King: The great shortages of 2020 brought on by the coronavirus

From the 2020 in review: Most read local stories from the past year series
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As you well know, we are experiencing something these days that we never imagined or would have believed a couple of months ago.

The coronavirus took most of us by surprise and the world by storm. In only a few weeks, this plague has changed our lives and lifestyles.

Numerous shortages have happened as a result of the coronavirus. The shortage I want to write about today is a far lesser problem than most others. This shortage may cause a little inconvenience, but no one will die as a result of this situation. It is indeed a strange phenomenon that has many of us scratching our heads in confusion and amazement.

Pete Seeger wrote and sang, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” Paula Cole wrote and sang, “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” I’m thinking I might write and sing, “Where Has All the Toilet Paper Gone?”

Where has all the toilet paper gone? Even napkins and paper towels have disappeared. Actually, I guess I know where it has gone. What I don’t know, or understand, is why.

Why are we hoarding toilet paper? Have I missed something? Was there an announcement about a massive cleanup on aisle four...five...six and seven? Does this virus cause problems I don’t know about? But then, I also don’t understand why gasoline prices have dropped so much. What a waste at a time when I’m getting three weeks per gallon!

In the South, we tend to panic buy when bad things are expected. The possibility of six snowflakes three states away will cause us to buy up all the loaf bread, milk and batteries in a four-state radius.

I must admit, I did not see this toilet-paper buyout coming. Some have added a room to their house just to hold all their toilet paper, napkins and paper towels. Oh, and bleach. I sure hope this is over by Halloween, or there will be no yard rolling this year.

Once upon a time in America, rolled toilet paper was not a necessity, but a luxury. So was indoor plumbing and bathrooms. Instead of having three bedrooms and a bath, many of the houses had three bedrooms and a path.

When my parents were growing, they didn’t have toilet paper. They had to roll yards at Halloween with pages from the Sears and Roebuck catalogue or the newspaper.

Now that I think about it, if this is over by Halloween, we may have a blizzard of white paper hanging from trees like we’ve never seen before. They had better start now building a wall around the trees at Toomer’s Corner.

What else are people going to do with four tractor-trailer loads of T.P.? One thing is certain, because we’ve stocked up so much, please don’t buy stock in toilet paper companies because when this is all over they won’t be able to sell anything until the next century arrives.

I have attempted to put a smile on your face, at a time when we need one, even if we can’t see it behind your mask.

We have also experienced terrible shortages of important items, even life-saving items, such as masks, test kits, hospital beds, medical care, etc. Please join me in praying for the availability of more of these items.

Don’t forget to pray for our leaders, doctors, scientists and medical personnel. Certainly, pray for all those impacted by this terrible virus, some in greater ways than others. Pray for a cure and normal days once again.

Stay well and does anyone have some T.P. I may borrow?

Bill King is director of Tuskegee Lee Baptist Association ( He is a minister, author, singer/songwriter, and performs humor as Bro. Billy Bob Bohannon ( Contact him at

Bill King is director of Tuskegee Lee Baptist Association ( He is a minister, author, singer/songwriter, and performs humor as Brother Billy Bob Bohannon ( Contact him at


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