Coronavirus: Australian man tasered in supermarket brawl over toilet paper

Amid the COVID-19 panic-buying frenzy, a man has been tasered after a petty argument turned dirty in a New South Wales supermarket.

A 50-year-old man was arrested after allegedly assaulting a Tamworth Shoppingworld staff member and a fellow customer following a disagreement.

It's believed the scrap was over toilet paper.

The man was taken to Tamworth police station but no charges have been laid, reports.

Toilet paper has become a precious resource in Australia, with Woolworths, Coles and Aldi introducing restrictions amid a growing shortage. Bulk-goods supplier Costco is allowing a maximum of two 48-packs of toilet paper to be purchased at one time.

There are reports that several stores across Tamworth have been stripped of the product.

Kleenex Bathroom Australia urged Aussies not to panic, as they are "working around the clock" to keep the supermarket shelves stocked.

Some people are even going as far to try and sell toilet paper on eBay for exorbitant amounts - just in case s**t really hits the fan.

An insight into loo roll

Due to toilet paper's bulky nature, the shortage appears more desperate than it really is, Queensland University of Technology retail expert Dr Gary Mortimer told the outlet. It's size makes it difficult to stockpile in supermarket storerooms as it takes up too much space.

"Supermarkets can really only hold 150 to 200 packets in an aisle... supermarkets are also conditioned to hold small levels of inventory, which is replenished every night," he explained.

If you're worried about your local shop running low on its supply, your best bet is setting an early alarm and heading in to pick up the essentials.

Paper towels, hand sanitiser, baby wipes and tissues are also in high demand amid COVID-19 fears.

According to US economics professor Justin Wolfers, the psychology behind panic-buying loo roll is worrying that everyone else is stockpiling basic necessities before you can.

Since you don't want to be bereft of toilet paper, you buy more than you need to avoid being shut out by others.

"You run and get toilet paper not because you need dozens of rolls, but because you fear that others are going to stockpile leaving none for you," Wolfers explained in a series of tweets.

"And they're buying because they fear (correctly) that you're running to the store to stock up, leaving none for them.

"The whole mess is created by fear."