A viral video from Australia shows women fighting over a package of toilet paper as shoppers make a run on essentials amid panic from the fast-spreading coronavirus.
As the New York Post reported, the video showed three people coming to blows in a Woolworths supermarket as a pair of women were confronted for pushing a cart filled with toilet paper. They were reportedly stopped by another woman pleading for “just one pack” and then got into a brawl as the toilet-paper hoarders resisted. Staff members tried to break up the fight, with one of them admonishing the three for fighting inside the store.
“Look what you’re doing. You’re fighting over tissues,” the staffer was heard telling the women.
Police said that a mother and her 23-year-old daughter were hit with criminal charges after the supermarket fight, and another 49-year-old woman was interviewed by police but not charged. Investigators stressed to the public that they must remain calm as they prepare for the spread of the deadly virus.
“It’s just bad behavior by people that are panicking, and there’s no need for that panic,” acting Inspector Andrew New told 9News.
“It’s not the Thunderdome. It’s not Mad Max. We don’t need to do that.”
As The Inquisitr reported earlier this week, there have been toilet paper shortages across Australia as panicked residents stock up on the product, anticipating staying indoors in quarantine as the virus spreads. The situation garnered international attention when a truck filled with toilet paper to replenish the bare shelves caught on fire on its way to a supermarket in Queensland, 7 News Australia reported.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokesman Justin Francis said his department moved fast to put out the flames and save as much as they could.
“Toilet paper is quite precious at the moment so we’ve been able to save half the load on this particular truck,” Francis said.
#BREAKING: A scuffle broke out at a Woolworths in Chullora this morning with patrons coming to blows over toilet paper, forcing employees to intervene. Bankstown police attended the scene and no charges have been laid. #9News pic.twitter.com/9TmDAStb9D
— Nine News Australia (@9NewsAUS) March 7, 2020
A number of other essential items have been on low supply as people across the globe prepare for the spread of the coronavirus. While Australia has struggled to keep toilet paper on the shelves, other places have seen runs on hygiene supplies including hand sanitizer. Experts have said that thorough and regular hand-washing is one of the most effective defenses against the spread of the virus.
There have now been more than 100,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide as the virus spread out of its original outbreak in Wuhan, China, to countries around the globe.