Kost's Korner

Plumbing and COVID-19

Covid-19 has changed the world in many ways and has had a unique impact on the plumbing industry. With people staying home 24/7, the pipes in their homes are certainly earning their keep. While unemployment has skyrocketed across the country, many plumbers are busier than ever.

Some have called the Spring of 2020 the Great Toilet Paper Shortage. When news that the Novel Coronavirus had become a global pandemic, the human race started behaving in unpredicted ways. With Covid-19 causing severe flu-like symptoms, one might think everyone would run out and stock up on cold medicines, cough drops, and vapor rub. Instead, the world instantly became obsessed with finding and hoarding toilet paper. And then, when the toilet paper disappeared from the shelves, paper towels became the next best thing. People began displaying strange behavior and videos surfaced of soccer moms fighting in the supermarkets over the last roll of Charmin. Soon there wasn’t a square to spare, as they would say on Seinfeld.

Although we laughed at the cute memes on Facebook, soon, it wasn't long until plumbers were inundated with calls of backed-up toilets and overtaxed pipes. People can be extremely creative when it comes to to...er...their bathroom deeds. Paper Towels, baby wipes, and yes, even socks became everyday objects snaked out of many commodes. It turns out that even if the box says it is flushable, it doesn't always mean that it truly is.

Soon plumbers took to social media, pleading with residents to only flush toilet paper down the pipes. They offered advice on acceptable alternatives and suggested that people throw away their wiping apparatuses instead of flushing them. 

It seems as though the toilet paper panic is leveling off as the world tries to return to some normalcy. Even though this year has been turned upside down, we will one day look back and chuckle that toilet tissue became a hot commodity. Why the world became obsessed with collecting toilet paper may always remain a mystery.