Toilet paper shortages due to coronavirus fears causes spurt in bidet interest

A bidet, popular in the Middle East and parts of Asia, is a bowl or receptacle designed to be sat on or a water hose for the purpose of washing after using the loo. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 25 March 2020

Toilet paper shortages due to coronavirus fears causes spurt in bidet interest

  • Toilet paper companies are stunned and say the surge in demand could strain the supply chain
  • Many took to social media to point out the age-long bathroom appliance: the bidet

DUBAI: As the coronavirus outbreak spreads panic globally with many stockpiling supplies such as food and bottled water, others have resorted to stripping store shelves of toilet paper.

With the help of videos spreading on social media showing shoppers grappling for packets of toilet roll, the washroom item has become the ultimate symbol of the coronavirus panic buying – even in the UK which is apparently the 11th biggest producer of the stuff.

Toilet paper companies are stunned and say the surge in demand could strain the supply chain, according to a CNN report.

In response to the bizarre impulse buy, many took to social media to point out the age-long bathroom appliance: the bidet.

A bidet, popular in the Middle East and parts of Asia, is a bowl designed to be sat on or a water hose for the purpose of washing after using the loo.

According to a report by national daily,  USA Today, toilets with a bidet squirting feature have become the most important trend of 2019 in terms of bathroom design.

Not only an answer to the coronavirus panic supply shortages, bidets could also be an answer to reducing waste – and to some – increasing hygiene.

Behavioral shifts when it comes to the environment has shown that there is an increase in pursuing a zero-waste lifestyle by opting to use water instead of tissue paper. 

It is just a question of whether a habit widely adhered to in the Middle East and Asia can cross borders into Western culture.

 


So sad, it’s funny: Egyptian beans can cure Coronavirus and other myths being circulated

Updated 08 April 2020

So sad, it’s funny: Egyptian beans can cure Coronavirus and other myths being circulated

CAIRO: With news changing every minute, social media users in Egypt are latching on to coronavirus developments with their special sense of humor.

As Egyptians spend their time quarantining at home, they are managing to escape boredom by scrutinizing some of the weirdest news stories across their media.

1 – One of the most trending topics this week was the visit by Egyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed to Italy, one of the nations worst hit by the global pandemic. Just like her trip to China, Zayed traveled to Italy to deliver medical aid to the Italians as requested by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. A move the Egyptian leader said would contribute “in lifting their burden during the current crisis.”

Images on April 5 showed Egyptian military planes carrying aid, including medicines and face masks. But Zayed herself stood out in those pictures as the only official not wearing a face mask, becoming a hot topic for Egyptians to pick on.

Later, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio posted a video on Facebook of him welcoming Zayed, during which he removed his mask resembling the Egyptian minister.

On a more serious note, Zayed was criticized by some for delivering aid to Italy when several hospitals at home have reported a shortage of medical supplies.

2 – Myths about how some foods are good for fighting COVID-19 have been going viral across the Middle East.

In Egypt, a doctor claimed that beans are effective in preventing the COVID-19 infection. Magdi Badran claimed in a televised interview that “homemade” lentils cooked would help.

 

In a similar incident, another doctor said that a 5,000-year-old Egyptian dish called “shalawlaw” is effective against the virus.

Magdi Nazih, Head of the Nutrition Education Division of Egypt’s National Institute of Nutrition, said the “shalawlaw” dish consists of dry molokhia, lots of garlic and lemon. And because it contains a large amount of garlic, it would strengthen the body's immunity, he claimed.

 

3 – Another food recommendation was made by Egyptian presenter Amani Al-Khayat to fight the virus.

Although not proven by anyone, Al-Khayat suggested Egyptians should drink a cup of tea during their daily diet, which would keep them protected from COVID-19.

 

The statement she made during her segment on news channel CBC Extra soon fell prey to mockery from Egyptian viewers.

4 – The internet has gone wild about the lack of social distancing when a TV reporter on private channel Sada Al-Balad was surrounded by over 10 people during his reporting.

In the report, talk show host Ahmad Mousa was being sarcastic as he spoke to the field reporter about how the individuals appearing with him surrounded him too closely.

 

“From what I see, I’m confident our people are abiding by social distancing,” Mousa said jokingly.

The reporter then decided to put on a face mask to protect himself from the complete lack of social-distancing.

5 – One of the most significant nights in Egypt since the COVID-19 outbreak was on March 24, when a group decided to march in Alexandria at midnight in what was later known as the “Corona Protests.”

A group of at least 200-300 people decided to take to the streets to rant against the pandemic thinking it was a good idea amidst all the calls to stay at home.

Video footage of their reckless behavior landed them in hot water as social media users seized upon every opportunity to make fun of them.