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Coronavirus has people in Idaho hoarding toilet paper, even though the CDC says there's no reason to

Our '208' Facebook group section is now flooded with memes about people hoarding toilet paper because of the coronavirus fears.

BOISE, Idaho — In some Boise grocery stories the hand sanitizer collection has been reduced to basically nothing.

Last week, KTVB shared pictures of empty shelves in several stores around Boise. Many people are stocking up in preparation for a potential COVID-19 outbreak in Idaho, despite the fact that the individual risk in Idaho is low at this time and several authorities, including Idaho Governor Brad Little, encouraged people to not hoard supplies. 

While the sanitizer and supply in Boise has been reduced to nothing at some stores (although KTVB crews have regularly seen plentiful supplies at other stores), Boise locals have also taken to stocking up on toilet paper in preparation for the coronavirus reaching Idaho. 

Since Boise adopted this new appreciation for toilet paper, The 208 Facebook page has had plenty of posts, comments and memes about those who are running on two-ply. 

The 208 has 1,538 members. 'The 208' is a new show on KTVB. Our mission is to be smart, honest and (sometimes) funny while we cover Idaho news. We...

Jeanne Sheldon shared this photo in the comment section of our most recent video. While it's likely this vending machine doesn't really exist, the photo still made for a good laugh.

Credit: Jeanne Sheldon

Brooke Cerio also shared this photo with us: a good reminder that there is no reason to panic or prepare for the worst, but still gave us a good laugh.

Credit: Brooke Cerio

You may be wondering where people are planning to store all of this toilet paper. Brook DeMoura offered an explanation, writing "Maybe their bathroom looks like this? Lol".

Credit: Brook DeMoura

But do we need to put the squeeze on toilet paper? 

While some psychologists say hoarding is a normal behavior in times of panic or anxiety, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says there is no reason to stock up on toilet paper.

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Facts not fear: Putting COVID-19 into context

The majority of people who have coronavirus will get better without any long-term effects, according to an Oregon doctor. About 82% of cases tend to be mild. In these cases, symptoms diminish over five to seven days, although people are still capable of transmitting the disease. But there are many people with a higher risk of having a more severe disease if they are diagnosed with coronavirus, including those with heart disease, diabetes, asthma and other vascular disease problems.

Also, most children who get it have mild symptoms.

To put the coronavirus numbers in context, millions of Americans get the flu every single year and there are thousands of flu deaths annually.

Since October 2019, the CDC estimates around 32 million Americans have gotten the flu. That’s one in every 10 Americans.

Since the coronavirus outbreak began late last year, there have been around 80,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in China. That means those cases account for just around .0056% of China's population.”

WHO officials said Monday that of about 80,000 people who have been sickened by COVID-19 in China, more than 70% have recovered and been discharged from hospitals.

Patients are typically released when they test negative twice for the virus within 24 hours, meaning they’re no longer carrying the virus, although some countries may be using a slightly different definition, that may include when people have no more respiratory symptoms or a clear CT scan.

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