Unprecedented times require unprecedented action, and that's how we as a society get something like How Much Toilet Paper?!, A new website that calculates the dwindling amount of our most valuable bathroom supplies.
It's a relatively simple tool: you enter the number of buns remaining and the number of toilet visits you are likely to make each day, and it spits out a nice whole number at the top of the screen. 10 roles left over three visits a day (the default for the website when you first visit it) equals 53 days. That is a lot of toilet paper, you might think.
However, there are advanced options to take more detailed measurement data into account, e.g. For example, the number of people in the household and the number of sheets on the roll of toilet paper that you have. The result is a fun, if not a bit dystopian, tool to help you find out how long your stock will last if coronavirus locks stay in effect for weeks to months around the world.
Screenshot from Nick Statt / The Verge
The site was put together by two UK-based people, Ben Sassoon and Sam Harris, who quickly made it a source of "light-hearted humor". But it quickly became a "tool that can educate the masses and help reduce inventory levels around the world," Sassoon told The Verge via email.
“We went from idea to use in less than three hours. The website has definitely undergone many changes since the first version, but it only proves the power of the Internet, ”he adds. “You can switch from the idea to the virus in hours or even minutes. We are currently with around 2 million viewers in just four days. It goes beyond everything I've experienced before. "
Sassoon says he and Harris hope the website will help people understand the dangers of hoarding in a crisis. “Our average user has 500% more toilet paper than he would need in a potential quarantine. We hope people use the website and see that they don't have to go out and empty the shelves, ”he says.
"We hope people use the website and see that they don't have to go out and empty the shelves."
Another silver lining for the novel coronavirus pandemic is that creatives like Sassoon, who is currently isolating himself with a dwindling amount of toilet paper that his calculator needs for 14 days (four roles), are finding ways to deal with projects that do this Once shared online, this can bring the much-needed distraction and entertainment to the public. More musicians are now performing live on Twitch after the tour has been canceled, late-night TV hosts have become YouTube vloggers, and US presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders have even pioneered virtual campaign rallies.
“We are experiencing one of the greatest social experiments of our generation – almost the whole world is now working from home, and unfortunately, millions of freelancers and service workers have become unemployed overnight,” says Sassoon. "It's a strange and worrying situation, but suddenly a lot of people have a lot more time – so I wonder what other creative people will come up with."