When it comes to toilet paper and a pandemic, we’re not that different from squirrels.

There are explanations for the toilet paper hoarding that has made the commodity one of the most coveted items in the country, said Stephanie Preston, professor of psychology at the University of Michigan.

Our brains are not wired that differently from a squirrel’s brain, or any other mammal that needs to save food or other needed items for later, she said.

A squirrel has only a few months of the year that it can collect nuts from trees, and yet the animal has to make its food source last all year. Hence, it has the capacity to remember all the places where it hides them.

Similarly, when a pandemic puts humans under stress, a common response is to clean and to hoard. “Toilet paper is the perfect storm of the two,” Preston said, because of its association with cleanliness.

Read the full article at Macomb Daily.