Where are all the masks? And where's the toilet paper? Nikkei Business (Feb. 28) suggested that panic buying in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, which also occurred in eastern Japan following the catastrophic earthquake of March 2011, may be influenced in part by people's collective memory — particularly among older generations who experienced shortages of household goods following the "oil shock" that occurred after the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.

A resident of Tokyo's Mitaka neighborhood in his 70s was observed buying two 18-roll packs of toilet paper and two five-box packs of tissues. Asked why he'd gone to the store, he replied, “My wife and son told me toilet paper might be in short supply.”

When the reporter pointed out that the quantity seemed like a lot for only him and his wife, the man replied, "Well, I might share some of it with my son's family."