COVID-19 has totally rearranged our global economies, not least because it's nearly impossible to go shopping like we used to. In-person experiences have almost totally given way to online retail, and while we can't always see products in person anymore, at least the internet gives us a whole world of options instead. You may have noticed that actually getting your hands on those orders has gotten a lot trickier this year, though. That's thanks to disruptions throughout the manufacturing process too.
The Atlantic staff writer Amanda Mull breaks it down this week, and by "it," we mean "every possible global supply chain." Whether you're trying to order at-home exercise equipment, bulk toilet paper, or even some new books to cheer yourself up, you're likely to run into delays. In some cases, items are sold out for months; in others, shipping delays seem to spring up out of nowhere. It's fair to be frustrated, but it's worth being frustrated at the right causes.
Globalization means that circumstances halfway around the world can have a ripple effect much closer to home. Since the pandemic originated in East Asia, where so many things we rely on are manufactured, production shut down while China, Vietnam, and other nations battled initial outbreaks. Shipping lanes have slowed dramatically amid health scares and labor disputes, and big box stores have altered how they keep items in stock, meaning that whatever sells out can do so in a blink. Read Mull's whole piece for a more detailed look at the issue, and though you may be antsy, give the USPS a break.