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As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps over the world and upsets financial and consumer markets, one of the most sought-after commodities has become — wait for it — toilet paper.

Something as basic, commonplace and usually uninteresting as bathroom tissue has suddenly commanded the attention of people who have a deathly fear of running out of it.

The herd instinct to buy more toilet paper than one’s household would normally use over months has emptied supermarket store shelves, and the resulting shortages seem to defy efforts to ease them.

To meet the demand, two private groups teamed up to help friends and neighbors in the Four Towns area obtain what they cannot find in their stores.

The DeBary/Deltona/Orange City Rotary Club and Back-Pack Buddies hosted a toilet-paper giveaway April 15 at Orange City United Methodist Church, and 192 people drove away with what they wanted or needed.

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