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I remember in the dawn of the pandemic when someone asked me why everyone was buying all the damn toilet paper. Pretty sure it was a rhetorical question, but I did have an answer.

It's because a generalized disaster response script we've been training people to follow for decades was followed...for the wrong disaster. Earthquake, blizzard, hurricane, tornado, and wildfire all have the same script immediately before or after event: get clean water, canned food, toilet paper and fill your gas tank. When told there was A Crisis, people went to default crisis prep model. It's kinda pleasing, if wrong in the circumstances.

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