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COVID Produces Supply Chain Shortages Everywhere

From cake pops to computer chips and lumber — to root beer!

Yes, Starbucks is having trouble putting pastries into their display cases in Seattle. See this: “Brace yourself, your Seattle-area Starbucks might be out of cake pops and your favorite pastries. Starbucks Corp. is experiencing food outages in the Seattle area, the coffee chain confirmed Thursday.”

Then I saw a story where one piece of plywood now costs $55. Not to mention there is a shortage of microchips across the board, which means multiple automobile manufacturing plants have had to shut down operations. This is driving up the cost of new vehicles and their availability. It is a great time to sell your car — unless you then need to go buy another one!

I recently saw a guy stocking Coca-Cola products and I asked him what happened to all the root beer products? He in turn, with nary a smile, responded, “the coronavirus.” When I got home, I then informed my wife that her diet root beer would not be forthcoming because the ship, the Ever Given, which was stuck in the Suez Canal with 20,000 cases of root beer on it, was the culprit (which is something I made up).

There are many more things, swabs for medical lab processes for instance (unrelated to COVID-19 testing), that are in short supply too.

The fragility of our international supply chain and the vagaries of how and where we get products or supplies that are used in manufacturing are all showing up — more than one year into the pandemic.