A second wave of COVID-19 shortages hit

Local stores run out of paper products and cleaning supplies.


Photo by: John Simpson

The local Powhatan Walmart faces a shortage of paper products and cleaning supplies.

As the number of COVID-19 cases begins to surge to an all-time high in the U.S., families have started to stockpile cleaning supplies and paper products. This stockpiling, or panic-buying, has led to a shortage of many paper and cleaning products. Fortunately, unlike the first wave of shortages in April, large retail stores, such as Walmart, claimed they are prepared, and other stores have already begun to limit the number of certain paper products that a person can buy.

Not only paper and cleaning products are scarce; appliances also are in high demand, not due to panic-buying. An acute shortage of appliances stems from the fact that most appliance parts are shipped to the U.S. from Mexico and overseas manufacturers, but COVID-19 has complicated matters by slowing down the manufacturing rate of parts. Although the industry expected to resolve the issue  as more people started to work, the rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. points towards continued complications in securing imports from other countries.

Many food items are also in short supply, such as some fresh meats, canned food, pet food, and spices. The main reason for these shortages is a combination of panic-buying and a slight lack of workers producing them. However, there’s no need to worry about running out of food, since its predicted that most of the shortages will most likely be over in less than a month.