B2 High-Intermediate US 29 Folder Collection
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You've probably seen the videos of people in long lines waiting to shop.
Or perhaps stood in a long line yourself.
In recent days, panicked shoppers in America and several other countries have cleared store
So what are the most purchased items?
What foods do we think still suck even in the midst of a pandemic?
In the US, when data analytics firms compared dollar sales from the first two weeks of March
2020 to the same period last year, there was a huge rise in the purchasing of a number
of items.
Let's tackle the obvious one first, shall we?
Toilet paper.
The purchase of toilet paper went up 60% in the first week of March over the same time
in 2019.
By the end of the second week of March, toilet paper purchase was up 212.7%.
It's a real head scratcher, in the majority of Covid-19 cases, bowel problems have not
been an issue.
Yet for reasons unknown, some of us went wild, panic buying enough toilet paper to last a
It's like westerners decided that the dividing line between civilization and falling into
chaos was toilet paper.
Don't get us wrong, toilet paper is one of the great inventions of mankind.
Prior to toilet paper becoming commercially available in 1857 and mainstream in the 1920's,
people used a wide variety of tools as bathroom aid.
It generally depended on how rich you were or where you lived in the world.
In colonial America they used corn cobs, moss or whatever paper goods they got their hands
Beginning in 1792, a popular household book, the Old Farmer's Almanac came with a hole
punched in the upper left hand corner so you could hang it on a string on a hook, to keep
it handy anywhere you might need it.
That included the outhouse where it was both reading and butt cleaning material.
Today, in some places toilet paper is a luxury, you might use leaves, or your left hand and
a bucket of water.
In other places, toilet paper is wasteful and unsanitary--bidets are preferred.
What we're trying to say is even if we do run out of toilet paper--which is not likely,
we'll figure out other good solutions.
We won't revert to using tersoriums like the ancient Romans.
You don't have to look it up, we'll tell you: a tersorium was a natural sponge--usually
harvested from the Mediterranean--on the end of a long stick.
When not in use the tersorium was kept in a pail of heavily salted sea water in the
communal bathroom...yes, that means exactly what you think it does--you shared the sponge
on a stick with everyone who used the latrine.
[NARRATOR: Clears throat]
Anyway, back to the most purchased items during a panic list.
As you can guess, in mid March there was a lot of buying aimed at combating the spread
of the virus: Aerosol disinfectant was up 518.9% over last
year as was: Rubbing alcohol up 277 % Multipurpose cleaners up 242.9% and bath & shower wipes up 221.6 % Does this mean that people are stocking up?
Or is this a sign that people weren't properly disinfecting before viruses dominated the
Some people thought it prudent to have health and medicine items on hand in case someone
in their household got sick:
Thermometers went up 497.7% Cold & flu remedies up 158.8U00:03:00,189 --> 00:03:08,319 Facial tissue up 195% Cough remedies up 120.2% and vitamins up 93.2V00:03:08,319 --> 00:03:14,049 While hand sanitizer sales were unusually high the second week of March at a 207.5W00:03:14,049 --> 00:03:19,090 increase over last year, they actually plummeted since the first week of March 2020 when purchases
were up 470%.
The drop in quantity sold wasn't due to a lack of demand though, but from stores not
being able to keep it stock.
As for food, many households stocked up on shelf stable staples many of which are commonly
purchased prior to hurricanes and blizzards.
Bottled water purchases went up 99.4% Powdered milk products were up 126.3d00:03:41,000 --> 00:03:46,980 Dried beans up 230.5
soup was up 126.6% Oat milk continues to have a real moment,
with purchases up a whopping 347.3h00:04:02,920 --> 00:04:06,989 Quite a few people thought it was very important to keep extra snacks on hand:
Popcorn went up 47.7% over mid March 2019 as did:
Pretzels at 46.7% Potato chips at 29.6q00:04:16,140 --> 00:04:22,720 Pastries at 23.6% Ice cream at 23.1% and chocolate at 19r00:04:22,720 --> 00:04:27,190 At the Infographics Institute we did some social media analysis and also sent our least
favorite intern to a nearby grocery store for some eyewitness investigation.
Based on our completely non scientific research: Shoppers stocked up on liquor, all except
for one particular brand of beer which will probably have to change its name in the future.
Though perishable, milk, eggs, butter, cheese and bread were also popular items that stores
sold out of quickly.
Things eager shoppers left behind in ravaged stores were: Manhattan clam chowder--yeah,
the tomato based kind, pickled herring, chocolate hummus, unsalted baked potato chips and refrigerated
spinach pasta.
Frozen pineapple and ham pizza, frozen and canned lima beans, vegan cheese and nonfat
milk were also left forlorn on shelves.
Last but not least, data shows that shoppers bought 17.7% less perfume and 17% less sunscreen
than mid March of 2019.
So the majority of us are planning to hang out inside and practice social distancing.
Why don't you chill and watch another video?
Ever wonder what would happen if you ate nothing but junk food?
Check out this video to find out: Or if you've ever been curious about how
prisoners buy items.
Check out how do prices work in the prison economy?
If you've been standing in a shopper's line for the supermarket while you watched
this video, perhaps you'd like to watch both videos, you probably have the time.
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Most Purchased Items During the Coronavirus Pandemic

29 Folder Collection
Annie Huang published on April 22, 2020
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