Last year we had no toilet paper or hand sanitizer. This year we have no houses. Oh, and let’s not forget we are running out of chicken wings, lumber, microchips and chlorine for pools. This summer, “experts” are predicting we might have shortages of gasoline and bacon. It’s almost too much to comprehend. So, the world might end up in a pretty darn perilous situation if we have a bacon shortage! If people were hoarding toilet paper last year, there could be fist fights in the grocery store aisles when our beloved bacon becomes scarce! Limit the number of packs we can buy? I doubt that will work. It could be mayhem in the market.
Are we supposed to stock up? Not exactly sure how we do that if we are planning summer trips and there is no gasoline at the pumps. Evidently, one of the reasons for this potential “shortage” is that there are 50% fewer fuel tanker drivers this year than last year. Many had to find new work when we were all sitting at home. Now we are back to traveling, and the truck drivers are gone! Come back! We need to go to the beach this summer and cannot drive there without gasoline.
Chicken wings are another story. The labor shortages and closures of poultry plants due to COVID-19 have caused many restaurants to have to either slash the wings from the menu or make them as expensive as gold nuggets. What are we to do? The pain is real for many folks in the food industry and lovers of these spicy, delectable chicken bites that are perfect for dipping. Americans consume 2.8 billion chicken wings a year! That would be an average of 18,000 wings in a person’s lifetime. Yikes, how will we cope if the shortage continues?
Want to rent a car? Plan wisely. They are out there, just not in great numbers. Many car rental companies sold off their fleets during COVID-19 travel restrictions. Now folks going to Maui are renting U-Haul trucks to drive around the island because $200 a day is more cost effective than trying to snag a car rental at $700 a day. That’s right, go on vacation and rent a truck to see the island. We cannot make this stuff up!
And lumber prices are through the roof (no pun intended). The increase in home prices due to the skyrocketing cost of lumber (up 236% since last year) means that you might be spending $40,000 more to build your house. I saw an ad on Facebook that showed two huge boards and several peel poles that a guy is willing to “trade” for a new red or yellow Corvette. He went on to say, “No lowball offers — I know what I have.” Yes, it is our new reality, and we must learn to survive. And maybe go without.
My husband, Doug, says I worry too much. Good advice. Hmm, I do have 25 bottles of hand sanitizer and 70 rolls of toilet paper. If anyone wants to trade me for some bacon, drop me a line.
Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.