It might be the time for you to start using handkerchiefs like you’re some sort of Charles Dickens’ cosplayer, cause there’s currently a tissue shortage.
There’s currently too much demand for these paper nose blankets and not enough supply, as per The New Daily. This has led to many supermarket shelves being empty of such products and some of their shoppers being rather irked by the situation. Moreover, both Woolworths and Coles have introduced a limit of two packets of tissues per customer. That’s right baby, it’s like 2020 all over again.
When chatting with The Latch over email, a Woolworths spokesperson said, “Supply of tissue has been particularly impacted, so to help ensure more customers have fair access, we have implemented a two pack per customer limit on all tissue products across Australia.” Coles on the other hand was a little more coy with its response. A spokesperson messaged The Latch, “We’re working hard with our suppliers to improve availability as quickly as possible.”
What’s Causing the Tissue Shortage?
This problem has been going on for a hot minute now. According to Woolworths on June 17, this tissue shortage is primarily a result of the current flu season. A spokesperson for this company emailed The Latch on said date, “Given the recent cold snap and early start to the flu season, there’s quite a lot of demand for a range of medicinal and paper goods products including cold and flu tablets, throat lozenges and tissues.”
This spokesperson then went on to state, “While customers might notice that the availability of some of their preferred brands might be limited, we continue to offer a wide range of alternatives across these ranges.”
On June 16, News.com.au also noted that Coles was walking a very similar line when discussing this issue. As a spokesperson for Coles told the publication, “Customers may notice that some stores might not have their usual brands of facial tissues in stock at the moment.” Furthermore, this spokesperson incorrectly promised, “We want to assure customers that there will be enough stock to get them through this flu season.”
However, it seems as if neither the Coles or the Woolworths representative mentioned the fact that we’re still battling the coronavirus pandemic.
Are COVID and the Flu to Blame?
Both COVID and the flu are contagious airborne viruses that can give folks runny noses.
As Queensland’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in a press release, “We have seen how difficult it has been to fight COVID-19.” She then went on to emphasise, “To fight COVID-19 and the flu is doubly hard.”
What’s more we’re on the precipice of another wave of COVID cases. This is thanks to the omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5 now being the dominant strains in our country. Both of these strains of the virus are more infectious and better at evading vaccine immunity than the previous ones that we’ve dealt with. And to make matters worse, they have a better chance of reinfecting someone that’s already had COVID. There’s no doubt that BA.4 and BA.5 have resulted in many a tissue being blemished.
How Can You Get Your Hands On Some Tissues?
Well, I’d recommend going to the picnic supplies area and checking if there are any napkins still available. During the height of the 2020 tissue and paper towel shortage, this was my go-to move. It often brought me a small morsel of joy and success.
Hopefully, this strategy will work in your favour if you need it. Good luck.